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Jefferson's Sons (Lib)(CD) Audio CD – September 13, 2011

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Audio CD, September 13, 2011
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--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307942333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307942333
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,003,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


* “A big, serious work of historical investigation and imagination; the tale has never before been told this well.” — Kirkus, starred review

* “[an] eye-opening and powerful novel.” — The Horn Book, starred review

* “Bradley’s fine characterization and cinematic prose breathe life into this tragic story.” — School Library Journal, starred review

* “Bradley’s sensitive and richly imagined vision pays respect to those who struggled for lives of stability and dignity, even as the whims and fortunes of the Jeffersons shifted beneath them.” — Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books, starred review

“This well-researched and moving novel provides insight into their lives as it raises important and difficult questions.” — American Library Association

“The young innocents’ elemental questions raise fundamental issues for the reader. How could founding father Jefferson sell off Maddy’s best friend? What does it mean, ‘all people are created equal?’” — Booklist --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kimberly Brubaker Bradleylives on a forty-two-acre farm inBristol, Tennessee. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Highly reccomend for middle school to adult.
This book is historical fiction written by a woman who did extensive research of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello.
C. Yates
At one point Sally tells a story about him that makes him more than just a two-dimensional historical figure.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 47 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I was in high school I started reading Toni Morrison's novel Beloved on my own. At the time, my mother said something about the book that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. She noted that the novel was remarkable because it showed that even the best possible slave situation was still an intolerable one. There is no "good" slaveholder, no matter how nice they might be, and no matter how well they treat their slaves. I understood a bit of this but I've never really encountered a book for kids that approaches this idea. I'd say that a good 95% of middle grade novels written for kids about slavery tend to show the same idea. The slaveholders are all evil except for one or two wives/daughters/granddaughters who teach our hero/heroine to read. Kids know that people who own slaves are bad so what's the point in throwing in questionable morality? Yet Jefferson's Sons couldn't exist under those restrictions even if it wanted to. If a good chunk of the American population has a hard time wrapping its head around the idea that the Founding Fathers owned slaves then how much harder would it be for an author of children's literature to bring the point up? Kimberly Brubaker Bradley doesn't just tackle the issue of someone like Thomas Jefferson owning slaves, though. She tackles the notion that he owned his own children as well. To pull this storyline off and to make it child appropriate, Bradley has a couple tricks up her sleeve. And danged if it doesn't pay off in the end. To her I doff my cap.

Three residents of Monticello. Three boys with a connection to its owner, Thomas Jefferson. The first boy, Beverly, is the eldest son of Sally Hemings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PDXbibliophile on September 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jefferson's Sons was an enthralling and emotional read. An historical accounting of President Jefferson's secret black family told from the point of view of his black children. Although it is historical fiction, it is extremely accurate and very thoroughly researched. Much of the story is based on the letters and journals written by Jefferson's plantation overseer and by the second of his three black sons. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley does not romanticize the relationship. The reader experiences the cruelty of Jefferson towards his black children - never acknowledging his black children living on his estate, the emotional pain his black children suffered watching Jefferson's white children and grandchildren growing up with every advantage while his black children worked in his home as servants, the fear they lived with daily of what will become of them when Jefferson dies. The hypocrisy of Jefferson's political views vs. his personal lifestyle is not lost on Jefferson's black family. The children sometimes hate their father, sometimes feel sorry for him, sometimes try to love him from afar, but mostly, are ambivalent. They know he did great things for the country, but they don't understand why he is considered a great man, especially when his black family is the worst kept secret in the country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maci and Zoe Read Books on February 6, 2015
Format: Paperback
When I think of Thomas Jefferson, I first think about the fact that he wrote the Declaration of Independence. This book shows that that is not the only thing he did. Thomas Jefferson did write the Declaration of Independence, but he did other things that where not so great, such as being a slaveholder. It shows not just what it is like to be a slave, but what it is philosophically like to be a slave. The book switches through the perspective of three of the slaves that work at the great house, not out on the fields. Two of them are the children that Thomas Jefferson had with Sally Hemings, a slave. I really enjoyed this book and found the ending to be very sad. This book also does a great job in making it easy to understand the whole concept of being a slave while adding more understanding to Thomas Jefferson. The ending was really great despite it being sad. The afterward brought all the closure that I needed to be satisfied with the ending. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Thomas Jefferson or slavery.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sally Hemings, a woman enslaved by Thomas Jefferson, had four children who survived to adulthood. Although Thomas Jefferson is widely believed to have fathered these children, they each lived as slaves on his now famous plantation, Monticello. This historical novel gives voice to two of those children - Beverly and Madison - along with a third enslaved child who also lived at Monticello - Peter Fossett.

Protected from hard labor as field hands due to their status as Jefferson's sons, Beverly and Madison nevertheless grew up as slaves and did not enjoy any of the privileges that came with freedom, including an open and loving relationship with their father. Peter had to experience the horrors of having his family members sold off one by one on the auction blocks. All three witnessed cruelty at the hands of the overseers. They wondered how Master Jefferson, president of the country and author of words communicating that all men are created equal, would allow slavery to continue, even in his own home.

This provocative novel gives middle grade and young adult readers a new perspective on the institution of slavery in the United States and how it could be condoned, and even exploited, by the country's third president and main author of the Declaration of Independence. With additional highlights that include the topics of wage labor, apprenticeships, and education, the book provides a unique opportunity to use fiction as a vehicle for encouraging young learners to think about the insidiousness of slavery and how it could strip even the president's own children of their dignity and rights.
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