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Amos Fortune, Free Man (Newbery Library, Puffin) Paperback – May 1, 1989
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Praise for Amos Fortune, Free Man
"The moving story of a life dedicated to the fight for freedom."—Booklist
About the Author
Elizabeth Yates (1905–2001), prolific American author, won the 1951 Newbery Medal for her novel Amos Fortune, Free Man. She also received a Newbery Honor in 1944 for Mountain Born.
Nora Unwin (1907–1982) illustrated more than one hundred books for children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in New England in late colonial/revolutionary/early American times. This book has it all -- plot, action, sadness, courage. It sets an example for kids who need to look outside themselves for the meaning of life. My favorite character was Violet, that encouraging, supportive industrious, strong wife. But then again, I'm a mom.
Amos Fortune belongs on your child's bookshelf.
Parent notes: a hard look at the capture and captivity of Afrincan blacks for slavery in the New World, the middle passage, violence against blacks. Uplifting book.
"Amos Fortune" is a true story about a young African prince torn from his family, people, and homeland. He undergoes a process of dehumanization, including a horrific slave-ship sea crossing, before being sold as a slave into first one and then another Massachusetts family; so we see two complete portraits of slave life. After a while, he buys his own and his wife's freedom and travels to picturesque New Hampshire where he builds a homestead and a legacy for himself. In so doing perhaps he plants seeds that help bring an end to that "peculiar institution," slavery.
Beautifully told by Ms. Yates, we see Amos learn to read and become a faithful Christian. His childlike dream to buy his sister's freedom grows into a mature buying of the freedom of women he loves. He masters the tanning trade, which we learn about. We experience his strong and majestic character in overlooking a benighted age's slights and building his own freehold homestead, near "his" mountain, in this free country he loves. Amos Fortune is an outstanding man worthy of imitation. His story will never die or grow old.
All American young people should read this book. It, along with: "April Morning," by Howard Fast; "A Light in the Forest," by Conrad Richter; "First Lady of Faith and Courage: Abigail Adams," by Evelyn Witter; and "The Autobiography," by Benjamin Franklin; paint a multifaceted view of the particular pains, prejudices and daily life in northern colonial America from the perspective of, respectively, black citizens, traditional revolutionary families, American Indians, women, and a particular famous artisan-scientist-inventor-statesman whose life spanned and intertwined itself with the century of America's birth.