November 1, 2013

This fictionalized version of a true account gives readers a look into a neglected piece of history: the story of theAmistad told from a child’s point of view. We are introduced to 9-year-old Magulu, who is sold into slavery and ends up a passenger on the slave shipAmistad. After a mutiny, Magulu finds herself in New England with three other child passengers, where their freedom is fought over all the way to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Magulu spends time going to school, learning English, and meeting supporters who fight for her right to return to Africa. Edinger fills her novel with facts, research, and rich historical details. The storybooklike narrative of a child torn between two worlds is captivating, and Byrd’s finely lined color illustrations add to the story, as do reproductions of historical documents. An author’s note gives readers additional information and the inspiration as to where Edinger found her source material.

— Sarah Bean Thompson

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