Buy Used
$4.34
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Slave Dancer Hardcover – December 1, 1982


See all 52 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, December 1, 1982
$7.99 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$3.00
12%20Days%20of%20Deals%20in%20Books
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (December 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0027355608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0027355604
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,599,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Spellbinding...will horrify as well as fascinate." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"Movingly and realistically presents one of the most gruesome chapters of history." -- Booklist, starred review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Jessie Bollier often played his fife to earn a few pennies down by the New Orleans docks. One afternoon a sailor asked him to pipe a tune, and that evening Jessie was kidnapped and dumped aboard The Moonlight, a slave ship, where a hateful duty awaited him. He was to play music so the slaves could "dance" to keep their muscles strong, their bodies profitable. Jessie was sickened by the thought of taking part in the business of trading rum and tobacco for blacks and then selling the ones who survived the frightful sea voyage from Africa. But to the men of the ship a "slave dancer" was necessary to ensure their share of the profit. They did not heed the horrors that every day grew more vivid, more inescapable to Jessie. Yet , even after four months of fear, calculated torture, and hazardous sailing with a degraded crew, Jessie was to face a final horror that would stay with him for the rest of his life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Pratt on November 4, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I teach reading to both Junior and Senior high school students so I am always looking for superior adolescent literature. The Slave Dancer, by Paula Fox, winner of the Newbery Medal for most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in 1974, is a good choice.

The novel, set in 1840, revolves around Jesse Boller, a teenage boy from New Orleans. Because Jessie enjoys playing the fife, he is kidnapped and forced to work on The Moonlight, a slave ship. His job is to play the fife while the slaves are forced to dance. I have read elsewhere that dancing the slaves supposedly kept some muscle tone during the long voyage.

We see the voyage through the eyes of young Jesse, a boy who had never thought much about slavery. Men who have compromised with evil and greed surround him and, in a way, he too has been enslaved. During the voyage, he learns about the flawed men who now control his life and the lives of the 98 slaves locked in the hold.

The novel could certainly be used in middle or high school literature, English or even history classes. It is fiction but it depicts historical events well. In my high school reading class we completed the novel in just over six weeks. The book is written for adolescent readers. Sex and violence is told of but not described in lurid detail. However, the `N' word is used to describe the slaves on multiple occasions. Because slavers, not Jesse, use the term, I feel it adds to the brutal picture of the time. A vocabulary list of nautical and archaic terms might be helpful for class reading.

This is not the kind of book you enjoy, this is the kind of book you think about. I recommend it for adolescent or young adult readers.

Kyle Pratt
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
The year is 1840. Thirteen year old Jessie Bollier is walking home through the streets of New Orleans when he is kidnapped. The kidnappers put him on a slaver, a boat that goes to Africa to get slaves and bring them to America to be sold. On his journey he sees the horrors of slavery and he is sickened. The book's title comes from Jessie's job: Jessies job is to play his fife so the slaves will dance and get exercise. Then they can be sold for higher prices. During the journey, to keep the slave ship from being stopped, all but one of the slaves - a young boy named Ras - are thrown into the shark-filled waters. Then a storm hits and Jessie and Ras hide below. Will the ship sink? Will Jessie and Ras survive? Will Jessie be able to go home? To find out, read this exciting book. My favorite part is when Purvis, an older sailor, befriends Jessie by telling him jokes and giving him hope. I recommend this book to people who like historic fiction and who like exciting but sad stories.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By J. Erway on February 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this novel when it was assigned to my child's fifth grade class. The book provides vivid imagery of a young boy's kidnapping and forced servitude aboard a slave ship. Fox's skillful narrative style is filled with detailed description and allegory. However, I must strongly disagree with Amazon's (and the publisher's?) classification of the novel as a book for 9-12 year olds. The vocabulary is so difficult that myself and my husband, both of us well read, college educated people, did not know some of the words. It also deals with cruel happenings and racism in such a way that I believe make the book suitable only for more mature readers. Therefore, I would recommend this chronicle only for readers 13 years and older.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Krista on February 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jesse Boller is a New Orleans teenager of the 1800s with a fondness for playing the fife. His musical inclination results in big trouble when he is kidnapped and taken to work on a slave ship. His job on the ship is to play the fife while the slaves are forced to "dance," supposedly to keep their bodies strong.
Jesse, who has never given much thought to slavery, recoils at the treatment of the slaves, treatment that was typical for its time, I suspect. Paula Fox does an especially good job of delving into the psyches of the men who voluntarily serve on the ship's crew, people who are not evil by nature, but whose constant rejection of the horror of slavery has inured them to normal human emotion.
A shipwreck during the book's course leads towards a somewhat dubious conclusion. For the most part, though, Fox skillfully carries us into the experience on the ship. We smell the stench, feel the claustrophobic crowding, and experience disbelief and outrage right along with Jesse. This book is a reminder of the unspeakable horrors that people -- even so-called decent people -- can inflict upon each other.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Silverman on October 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A mid-70's Newbery winner, and a gem. With Out of the Dust, and Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, the very finest Newbery has to offer in historical fiction. The reading level may be late elementary or early middle school, but the content calls for later middle school or high school. The details of abducting and carrying slaves, their treatment at the hands of their transporters, the crude and often cruel behavior of the ship's crew, and the horrors of shipboard life make the themes tough for sensitive younger readers. It will provide a young reader with a thoroughly unsettling look at an unseemly part of American history. The main character, the white boy kidnapped from the streets of New Orleans in 1840 to play his fife to encourage the slaves to dance, is a good, clear, child's view of things, properly aghast and open-minded, the pleasant part of the story and its first person teller. What Slave Dancer gives is brilliant in its clarity and horror. I recommend it highly with the caveats above.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?