Thirteen-year-old Nathaniel Dunn is an indentured servant in colonial Virginia. Life is hard, and it's about to get harder when Nathaniel is sold. But in a twist of luck, he meets Basil, a kind, elderly schoolmaster. An arrangement is struck lending Nathaniel's labor to a Williamsburg carriage maker with strong loyalist ties in a town increasingly led by patriots such as Thomas Jefferson. Basil introduces Nathaniel to music, books, and philosophies that open his mind and heart to daring new attitudes on equality.
The year is 1775. Colonists are enraged by England's taxation. When Virginia organizes a protest embargo of British goods, patriots and loyalists clash. Soon Patrick Henry's impassioned words ""give me liberty, or give me death"" become the sounding call. Should Nathaniel and Basil join the fight? And what is the meaning of "liberty" in a country that depends on indentured servants and slaves? Nathaniel grapples with the choices a dawning nation lays before him and the possibility of facing his closest friend in battle as the American Revolution explodes in Virginia.
L. M. Elliott's gripping account captures the hopes and dilemmas of a boy caught up in this crucial turning point in American history.