Grades 4 - 7
Grade level Equivalent: 5.2
Lexile® Measure: 810L
Guided Reading: S
- Historical Fiction
- Colonial and Revolutionary America
- Slavery, Underground Railroad, Abolition
About This Book
Kofi's safe world is suddenly shattered. Ghostly white men, who have arrived from the coast, are stealing his people to sell into slavery. And Africans who speak and dress like the white man are helping them.
Oppong, the family's beloved slave, has always been trustworthy, but today he seems nervous and preoccupied. Why does he not tell Father when he thinks he senses danger? And why is he not dressed in his robe for today's procession to Kumasi? Kofi's worst suspicions unfurl before his eyes — and it is this ironic twist of fate that changes the lives of Kofi's family irrevocably and leads Kofi, in chains, to a cold, somber New England farm owned by Puritans. How the boy eventually comes to find Paul Cuffe, and African American ship builder with a dream of taking Africans back to their homeland, reveals and unusual chapter in American history.
In a riveting novel laced with historic fact, award-winning author Joyce Hansen perceptively contrasts two cultures, while showing a unique picture of slavery in New England shortly after the American Revolution.
"Modeled after an actual slave narrative, this moving first-person tale follows 12-year-old Kofi from his kidnapping in West Africa to his cruel enslavement in Massachusetts and his subsequent freedom and career as a sailor . . . The well-crafted and compelling survival story juxtaposes two cultures and gives a unique account of slavery." — Horn Book.