Read Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates Online


Amos Fortune was born the son of an African king. In 1725, when he was 15 years old, he was captured by slave traders, brought to America and sold at auction. For 45 years, Amos worked as a slave and dreamed of freedom. At 60, he began to see those dreams come true. A Newbery Honor Book....

Title : Amos Fortune, Free Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780833529770
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 181 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Amos Fortune, Free Man Reviews

  • Wendy
    2019-03-28 11:40

    I did my best to rate this what I might have rated it as a child, or maybe if I'd read it back when it was written.As a book, I would probably rate it highly in a list of similar children's biographies for interest and readability. Amos Fortune had a very interesting life, and a new biography of him would be great. But this book is almost unreadably racist and patronizing. If it weren't for the award, it would certainly have been weeded from school and public libraries long ago. I don't know what should be done about Newberys like this. I wonder if, possibly, the new edition that I see pictured includes a foreword about the racist nature of the book, which would help somewhat.The illustrations (in the edition I read, anyway) depict dreadful caricatures.NOT recommended.

  • Kellyn Roth
    2019-03-27 18:38

    Read with mother and younger siblings for school (and a couple years before that, also for school). I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.I found some of Amos's ideas a little silly - such as finding his sister, whom he assumed would be the same age as she had been when he last saw her no matter how many years past. That was just annoying. He was also a pushover sometimes. I think perhaps that had a little to do with the way people during the time of this book perceived African-Americans (?), perhaps, but it could just be his personality, in my opinion.I've read that some people think this book was very racist; I don't think it was that bad. Even so, you do have to take in account the year it was written + the time it was written about.Also, as with many children's history books of the day, there were tons and tons of huuuuge timeskips and each chapter covered literal decades of Amos's life. Just not a fan of this style.Thanks for reading,~Kellyn Roth

  • Ann
    2019-04-21 14:31

    I had grave misgivings before I began reading this book. It won the Newbery Award, yes, but it won in 1951, and it's a book about a black man written by a white woman. In 1950. That's enough to give me a bit of a pause entering into the reading experience.On the whole, the book was not as racially insensitive as I thought it would be. That doesn't mean that it's a shining example of careful research and subtle characterization, just that it's not as bad as it could have been. It's interesting to me that being free is such an integral part of who Amos Fortune is, and is clearly one of his most vividly held beliefs, and yet slavery is generally shown to be not that bad. All of the slaves in the book want to be free. But when his original owners, who were going to free hi offer him freedom, he denies it because "he's not ready". And later when the male owner dies and his widow and child sell Amos on the auction block to pay off their debts, Amos is not upset about this because he knows that it is his duty to help out his friends in paying the debts. Um, I'm sorry, but when your "friends" consider it perfectly acceptable to put you up on the auction block, a humiliating experience that could possibly result in physical and mental danger depending on who buys you, that is not friendship. That is not doing your duty. That is one set of people who have not been able to reach out a true hand of friendship and therefore still see you as chattel when push comes to shove and the good times end. Amos should have felt betrayed. Even if he understood why they felt they had to sell him, he should have felt something more than just cheerful to do his part.Because the book spans nearly one hundred years, I had a hard time connecting to the emotional life of Amos. Each chapter covers a decade or more in his life, leaving very little time to truly feel the impact of any one decision or life event. The only major incident that is brought up throughout the book as a painful memory is Amos's sister Ath-Mun. And that memory made me angry, because it was so obvious that he was being incredibly idiotic about his continued search for a 12 year old girl. That a man as smart as Amos spent decades looking for his little sister before realized suddenly that she would no longer be 12 seemed unrealistic.This is supposedly a biography, but it falls into the category only vaguely. It would not be published as such today. It lacks any sort of bibliography or resources to indicate how the author did her research. It also takes liberties, with the narrator claiming to understand what Amos was thinking or feeling, when there is no way to really know that. This was common in children's biographies of decades past (Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, also a Newbery winner from the '50's, is written in a very similar vein. Actually, that book covers a very similar time period, though from a completely perspective. Both books are about men who worked hard to "make something of themselves" though, which is interesting.) but it's still frustrating to me as a modern reader who would like something more.The overt Christianity in the book annoyed me a bit too. Amos's people are pagan at the beginning of the book, but it's made clear that they're the "good" kind of pagan that even though they aren't Christian don't resort to wanton violence. That's patronizing. There's a fine line between a character believing strongly that his good fortunes are from God and that his misfortunes are God testing him, and the author signaling that that is clearly her worldview and all else must therefore spring from it. This book goes over the line.With all of that criticism, there were still some good aspects. Although I found bits of the book patronizing, or misrepresentative, or otherwise flawed, I could see that the author was trying to show that African Americans were equal in intelligence and ambition to every other type of American, and for 1950 just the fact that she was trying counts for a lot. I'm not entirely certain what the committee saw in the book. I don't think the themes were necessarily carefully expressed throughout the book (Amos loves freedom, but isn't upset when it is denied to him, twice, by owners who are supposed to care.) The characters go through so much of their lives that they are not terribly well drawn, more glimpses into their lives. The setting is well done, I'll give them that.

  • Judy
    2019-03-25 13:17

    I picked up this book because it won the Newbery medal in 1951. In addition, I was pleased to see that the story is based on the life of a real person. And he was sold at a slave market in Boston. So many books about slavery are set on plantations in the South that it's easy to forget that there were also slaves in the North.I see that quite a few readers aren't happy with this presentation of an African American who lived in Massachusetts in the late 1700s. I don't see a problem with it. I would be happy to have the kids read this story. Here, we are introduced to a man who is wise, kind, hard-working, and respected. The picture of slavery is not wretched nor is it pleasant. The young reader learns how people were brutally torn from the families and homes, how they suffered physical and mental agony in the ships across the ocean, and how they were sold at auction to whites with the money in hand. Then they became someone's property, a slave to the owner's demands. No man wanted to be a slave. Cruel treatment was always a possibility (e.g., the poor girl whose legs were broken because she attempted to escape). But this is a book for kids, ages 9 to 12 perhaps? They do not need to hear all of black history in one slim volume. This does an admirable job of introducing many aspects of an ugly chapter in not only American history, but also in the history of the world.This book was called a biography. Maybe today we'd call it historical fiction. After reading this, kids just might turn to the internet to see what more can be learned about Mr. Fortune.

  • Kristen
    2019-04-15 17:43

    Newbery Medal Winner--1951"But that's what they are, those black people, nothing but children. It's a good thing for them the whites took them over."'ve gotta be okay with a little "that's how it was back them" racism to get through this one. Granted, the author almost always goes on to show how amazing Amos is and how he doesn't care, but it's still frustrating to read at times. It's a pretty interesting story of a slave--from his capture from his African tribe all the way to his death as a free man--but it also leaves a lot to be desired. Amos is pretty lucky (I slaves were actually "lucky"), which is how he comes by his last name. As a slave he is taken in by two kind, loving families who allow him to sleep in the house, learn to read and write, and both intend to give him his freedom. He is never whipped or beaten by an owner, and he is able to make a life for himself and others once he's free. An inspiring story, sure...but Amos never experiences the horrors that many slaves did. These things are mentioned in passing, but very little is said about them. It's all a bit...white-washed, if you will.

  • Josiah
    2019-04-19 15:22

    This truly is an exceptional juvenile biography, told in the form of an historical fiction narrative. Elizabeth Yates is one of the most sympathetic and caring authors that I have ever read, and she brings this benevolent approach to the sad but inspiring story of the heroic true figure Amos Fortune, an African prince who was sold into slavery at the age of fifteen and spent the next forty-five years working hard for various slave owners, trying to buy his own freedom and, eventually, the freedom of others. Amos's main goal was to one day find his younger sister, who was also sold into slavery, and this strong, resourceful man would move mountains to realize the completion of this goal, and reunite with this sister. "Amos Fortune, Free Man" is a very powerful and honestly moving story, and it seems to me that no other writer could possibly have accomplished the task of writing it any more proficiently than did Elizabeth Yates. We are lucky to have this book.

  • Josh
    2019-03-30 18:38

    The thing that struck me most about this book is that Amos is not tortured or horribly hurt in any way by being a slave. He isn’t raped or beaten or anything else. I think that this is what makes the book interesting. It does not matter that you are mistreated and hurt by being a slave. That is not really the point. That’s not what is horrible about racism. Racism is people not paying you for your work even though it is excellent. Racism is people not letting you sit in a pew at church. Racism is not good no matter how benign it seems. I think that by seeing Amos as a real person who does things that normal people do and who leaves a normal life which is not particularly horror filled, that the awfulness of slavery is made even more apparent.

  • Annelisa
    2019-04-05 15:26

    I have/had fond memories of this book, which I first encountered in middle school. I found it in one of the many book bins in one of my classrooms. I kept thinking about it through the years, and was glad when I was able to get a copy later. However, after rereading the book in college, I find that I have some serious issues with it, much of which has been mentioned in earlier reviews. Handled the proper way, the story of Amos Fortune, a figure who no doubt had a fascinating and complex life, could have made for a satisfying historical read, one that generations of children could benefit from. As it stands now, the book supports paternalism, assimilation, the misuse of Christianity, and the system of slavery in general. Overall, it actually defends racism, which it doesn't see as having a largely negative effect on Africans and African-Americans. This viewpoint reveals much about the author's intentions (she was white), the racial atmosphere of the time (1951) and the myths surrounding slavery, which still lingered in the public consciousness. In the text, slavery is not viewed as innately evil and cruel to those forced into it. Rather, the institution is just viewed as an obstacle or inconvenience that people have to overcome. The author disturbingly suggests that slavery actually makes individuals, Black individuals, better people because they learn to work through the hardships and adapt to different situations. Amos himself supports this view. Furthermore, the author paints slavery as an honest institution, one that others like Amos can free themselves from if they simply work hard and accept their fate as God's will. When Amos finally does get his freedom, the book implies that Amos can now appreciate it better because of his years of working towards it, ignoring the fact that he was already free before he was stolen from his homeland. None of the white people who own Amos are cruel or even indifferent to him. Throughout the book, they treat him with respect and kindness. Despite this, they never see Amos as their equal, even though they praise his acceptance of Christianity as a step towards his becoming "civilized". Ironically, the first people who owned Amos were Quakers, a group that has strongly been identified with the antislavery movement in the United States, even though some of them did practice slaveholding. They are the ones who "rename" him and instill in him Biblical tenets that he carries with him throughout his life. All slaveowners may not have been Simon Legree, but this doesn't mean that the Simon Legrees were nonexistent, even in the early days of the United States. Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that in spite of a few early protests, Amos accepts his fate willingly, and shows no desire to see the rest of his family again. He wants to be free, but turns down a number of opportunities that would have afforded him freedom, and he doesn't attempt to run away. In regards to his past, there is no real description of African culture or societal structure. The reader's main introduction to Amos (or rather, Ath-mun's) pre-American home is through a jungle celebration with eating and dancing, as well as a "barbaric" custom that Amos saves his sister from. Not once is their culture viewed as being equal in status to that of the Europeans. This book still has relevance as an historical document that presents a distorted view of an important historical event. It does seem disturbing that this won an award as one of the best examples of children's literature. I can't help but think about the schoolchildren who read this book and enjoyed it as fact, and the effect that it may have had on them.

  • Kathi
    2019-04-10 14:39

    Although I greatly admired Amos Fortune in Elizabeth Yates’s 1951 biographical novel, it was his love for a mountain in his later years with which I connected the most.A former African prince, At-mun was abducted by slave traders in 1710, after they destroyed his village and murdered his father. He endured great suffering during his captivity and journey to Boston, but knowing that he was of royal lineage, he endured his ordeal stoically, wanting to give hope to those captured with him. He kept that sense of responsibility for others during his whole life.Amos, as his name became, earned his last name “Fortune” since he had the very, very good luck of being owned by kind masters for the almost fifty years that he was enslaved. He learned to read, was taught (and embraced) Christianity, and then mastered the tanning trade. Eventually, Amos was given his freedom. He never stopped trying to help fellow slaves earn theirs, and his efforts to do so brought him to Jaffrey, New Hampshire in the late 1700’s. There, he came to love Mount Monadnock, which became a source of strength and consolation as he aged. Fortune’s life was certainly still difficult, but he continued to support and provide for those he loved. Through his inspiring integrity and the skills he learned, he earned the respect of not only his family and friends, but also many areas of New Hampshire as well. I recommend this biography for early middle-schoolers. Although the slavery scenes are not as graphic as some, they depict the horror of captivity, the great sadness from lack of freedom, and the joy Amos experienced when freedom was finally again his. The comfort Amos receives from nature is sweet to hear and to nurture in young readers. Amos has “his mountain,” which he scales to its peak even in his seventies. I, too, have hiked that mountain in New Hampshire, and was impressed by his climb! Children who have nature close to them are lucky indeed, and the book underscores that fact.Reading Amos Fortune also reminds me how wonderful connecting to a book can be. Fortune’s story is one of endurance and triumph over adversity. I would honor him just from reading Yates’s research; the personal connection to that grand mountain in New Hampshire makes him even more memorable!

  • Emily
    2019-03-31 17:24

    "Hate could do that to a man, Amos thought, consume him and leave him smoldering. But he was a free man, and free at a great cost, and he would not put himself in bondage again."Here is a story not to be missed, of a young teenage boy in Africa, son of a chief and tribal leader, who is kidnapped by slavers and brought to America. Educated by Quakers and offered his freedom, Amos possesses both an extraordinary spirit as well as a penchant for learning his trade well. His tenderness for his young, handicapped sister, and the memory of how he would want to see her cared for, prove to be the gateway for freedom for other suffering Africans, as he buys their freedom with the money earned by his skill of tanning leather."It was Ath-mun who had been the fount of freedom to those others, Amos thought, as he reached back into memory for the beloved sister."As terrible as it was to read of African tribal slavery, the horrors of the transatlantic voyage, and the mistreatment of blacks in America, the most incredible part of this story is its picture of redemption. Suffering such cruelty and injustice that he did, Amos could easily have become embittered, even murderous in his spirit. But like Joseph in prison, he did not forget his identity as a king - the son of a chief in Africa - and as he read the Bible, he realized now he was a king unto the Lord (Rev. 1:6)There were times I had to set this book down to cry. I could not believe how blessed I've been in my life compared to some, and how shameful it is ever to complain. But the best part of this powerful, true story is that one day, I will get to meet Amos.

  • Marfita
    2019-04-07 10:27

    There is precious little information about the man who became Amos Fortune and I would not send anyone to this book trying to find any. As a novel, however, it is very affecting. I'm sure research was done into the slave trade to get background information, but if Fortune left no written record himself of his youth, then that part of the narrative is so much marsh gas. If he had been just a villager, rather than a "king's son," where would his nobility have come from? He has to fall far. It isn't enough just to be captured, maltreated, and sent across the ocean to be a slave. He has to be a king's son. And he has to spend his life searching for his lame sister (which eventually leads him to buy a lame slave and marry her? This is sick!), who was quite logically rejected by the slavers. Once you get past the actual slave traders, the majority of the white people Fortune is in contact with are plaster saints - and none of them give him his freedom. There are exceptions - there is the constable who tells the family to move on, but it is implied he's only paying lip service to the regulation and he ends up being helpful. The one realistic white man won't pay Fortune the agreed price and makes him pick up the coins from the ground. This book is a fairy tale to make white people feel better. It is a book of its time period (1950), a novel rather than a biography, insulting, pandering, and yet it still brought tears to my eyes.

  • Juli Anna
    2019-03-22 15:43

    I was hoping for more from this book, especially since it is still fairly widely read and assigned as a Newbery. For its time, I'm sure this book was tremendously important and maybe even progressive. But now it seems so domesticated, watered-down, and pandering to a white audience.Amos as a character is extremely compelling, and it is rare that you read a children's book where the main character is an old man for most of the story. The details about 18th-century African American life and trades like tanning were interesting. I also really appreciated the lack of dialect in this book; this may be the first Newbery with a black character where that character doesn't constantly say "lawsy me" and other such nonsense. However, this book is so full of platitudes for appeasing and justifying the white audience that it's hard to bear. Even Amos himself spends a lot of time telling other characters that "if you just give someone their freedom, they won't know what to do with it." The unhealthy patriarchal relationship between white "savior" and slave is glorified to the utmost here. And this book is not frank enough about the realities of the treatment that slaves suffered at the hands of their oppressors. Overall, disappointing, and probably not progressive enough to carry forward into the future.

  • D.C.
    2019-04-07 17:18

    The story itself is really not that bad, but the fact that the author made up the majority of the story based upon the few facts available on Amos Fortune's life sort of disturbs me. The details of slavery and prejudice are very glossed over and are not realistic at all. Amos is depicted as being happy all the time, and although I don't doubt that he was a very upbeat person, not one time in this book is he sad (although he gets angry at one occasion). I just didn't feel like I got a very good taste of what Amos had to go through as a slave and as somebody who was always looked down upon. The details of his life in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, are a bit more interesting, but still pretty dull. Not a book I'd expect kids to pick up, but it's readable and somewhat inspiring.

  • Linda Lipko
    2019-03-21 11:32

    Born the son of the King of an African tribe, when he was 15 he was herded up with other village members, shackled and held as cargo in the ship until reaching New England whereupon he was sold on the slavery block.This is his story from the time he arrived on colonial soil through the years he was a slave who eventually was freed, married and owned property.This is a story of hope and courage. This is a story of the tragedy of slavery and the bravery of those who bore the burden.A 1951 Newbery medal book deserving of this honor. ( )

  • Grace Bittle
    2019-04-11 12:20

    Not my favorite book ever, but it was pretty good. Amos, born Amum or something like that, is taken from his African home. He is taken from his father, mother, and sister, and enslaved Then he is brought to America, and sold. Can he find his long lost sister? Will he be a slave forever?

  • Michelle
    2019-04-21 16:29

    While this was an inspiring story for kids and the main character was very admirable, overall it presented very idealized and unrealistic pictures of slavery and humanity.

  • Stefanie Witman
    2019-04-14 11:28

    Enjoyed this book. I really enjoy biographical novels, and reading about this time era.

  • Ethan
    2019-03-31 10:38

    I loved the book except the ending, it was so sad. He well you’ll see

  • Steve Shilstone
    2019-03-25 16:26

    Fictionalized life of a real 18th century African sold as a slave in Massachusetts. Lucked out with good masters, if it's even remotely possible to luck out having a master. Nevertheless, he persisted and became a skilled and free tanner.

  • Julius
    2019-04-12 15:21

    Hmph. This book lacked greatly to me the spirit and truth that was in the days in which it is set. The story was alright but the writing... How can I say that the writing was bad when in fact it was not? No, the writing was not bad, but rather lacked the feel of the tone of the story. This book, I must insist, would have been much better if it had been allowed a genre-based and time-period-based form of writing; short of that, a little spirit would have been nice! Many of the characters seemed not characters at all but rather like words on a page that were typed and set; the situations some of them were placed in, and then the fruition of their reactions or responses was so very drall.In fact, a great factor of the book that left me displeased was the characters. They were highly uncharacteristic. There was not very much spirit to them. Going through the motions, going through the motions, set attitudes, set attitudes. When I read a book, in particular a book such as this, I wish to be caught up in the story; lost in the strifes and toil of the characters, wondering at sudden changes of fortune on whichever part, following along contentedly even at points when the tale is merely droning, not staring blankly at black words set on white paper that simply go on from page to page.Amos Fortune: Free Man, I'm sorry to say, left me very much wanting, and only because the writing, as I stated before, was in fact not bad, and that it was at least historically acurate I give it two stars. But please, if you are looking for something of this nature to read, whether for pleasure or to peer into the past, I would suggest something more along the lines of 'Sounder', or in particular 'Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry'.

  • Kelsey Ludemann
    2019-03-28 11:26

    I read this book in 8th grade, and I decided to read this book for my Newbery Awards assignment because of the many years between the two readings. I am glad I did. I didn't remember the plot as well as I thought I would so a lot of it felt new to me. Elizabeth Yates is a wonderful writer and there are some very reflect-worthy quotes in this book: "It puzzled Amos that the white people put so much stress on Sunday. Yet it seemed somehow similar to the stress they put on the color of a man's skin. To amos, once he understood the Lord, every day was lived to Him." (one of my favorites) There was something in the words of the book that I did not fully understand and thus, skimmed over when I was younger. Only now, being married, fully in love, and looking at the prospects of our opportunity am I able to entirely grasp the beauty of this book. I am grateful that I was introduced to it when I was 14 to entice my returning to it now after I have gained in age and experiences. And! I didn't know that it was about a real man until after my second reading!!

  • Guatemala
    2019-04-08 16:37

    Loved the book. Learned a lot. Eye opening.I think that part of reading a historic book, fiction or non fiction, is to understand concepts and believes of that time, whether simple or complex, wide spread or not. Not because they were right or wrong, or that practices and believes, were acceptable or not then nor in our post modern society, but because they existed and were real, if not for all people, for many or some.When I read any book I want or a book that my children are going to read I have the obligation to research the author, biography, religion, believes, background; also the real events, religions, economics, science, arts, place, politics, etc, etc, of that time, if it is a fictional novel. if it is not a novel, I research the person or fact it is about with many other sources. That is really what places a book in place. Even if I think a book is bias, I want to know why and i want to teach my children to see it and understand why, according to what we believe.

  • Phil Jensen
    2019-04-10 16:16

    This book reads like a giant Mad Lib. Yates took the handful of known history about Amos Fortune, then just randomly made stuff up to fill in the gaps. Most of it makes no sense from one page to the next. Characters want freedom, then they don't, then they do. Characters are noble, then stupid, then brilliant. All of it adds up to the lesson of the book, which is... what? I really don't know.This book has been accused of racism, but I found it more bewildering than anything else. There are slave-owners who seem to be portrayed positively, even while they extol slavery. Yet, Yates was clearly trying to write an anti-discrimination book. It all has the feel of a daydream in which premises and continuity are discarded midthought to make way for new whimsies.I'm giving it two stars instead of one because it was oddly readable. I trusted Yates enough not to change the known facts of the story too much, and I read on to find out what they were. (Wiki would have been quicker, of course.)

  • Karen Upper
    2019-03-25 10:17

    Amos Fortune by Yates is a beautifully told story of personal choices -- of perseverance and compassion -- during a time where bitterness, distrust and hate were more common place in society.Captured as a fifteen year old from his village in Africa, 'he is then transported and sold as a slave in New England. Based upon the life of the real historical Amos Fortune (1710-1801), Ms.Yates' Amos exhibits a patience and good will that distinguishes him from many of his fellow community members whether they be black or white.This is a well written story that reveals to the reader that a person does have the power of choice --- and when a positive attitude is imparted this then can have a ripple effect!Recommended for middle grade readers!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    2019-04-01 10:24

    Amos Fortune was born At-mun, the son of a king in Africa. Before he knew it, he was seized and taken to America, to be sold as a slave. He was fortunate, however, and was sold to a kind Quaker who treated him justly and beneficently and allowed him to buy his freedom. All his life (and he lived a long life, living to nearly one hundred) Amos helped others become free, including all three of his wives. With a copyright date of 1950, I anticipated there would be lots of racist elements to this book. There were, but the book was redeemed somewhat by the depiction of Amos as a pioneer, a good man, a man who led the way for others.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-12 14:43

    I found the pacing of this book strange and off-putting (there are poignant moments where Amos reflects on the most minute detail of a sunset, preceeded and followed by paragraphs where whole decades fly by), but perhaps life can be a bit blurry in a similar way. I found myself wondering about the race of the author, and then wondering if that was fair. I still haven't delved into it too deeply, because I'd like to ponder the book as a standalone work before dragging the author's whole life experience into it. It's not a great *book,* in my opinion, but it is a nice telling of an exemplary life. Amos' reflections on what it really means to be free and use freedom wisely are very moving.

  • Loraine
    2019-03-24 16:29

    The Newberry Award winning Amos Fortune Free Man is the story of At-mun the 15 year old son of a tribal king in Africa who is taken by slave traders and carried to America. He is sold to a Quaker who teaches him to be a tanner. Through hard work he gains his freedom. During his entire lifetime, Amos never becomes angry, always serves God and lives to help others. Very interesting story of a black man who had every right to be angry and despairing, but instead chose to be loving and positive. Well written story based on Amos' real life that older children and youth would certainly enjoy.

  • Chris
    2019-04-14 16:41

    Good book for kids - read it to my daughter. It is more of a fictionalized biography because so little is known of Fortune's early life. And the author does present it from their 1950's perspective (taming & Christianizing the noble savage and Fortune seems to mostly come in contact with kindhearted white people and slavery is not depicted nearly as bad as it was), but on the whole I think it is a good way for kids to learn more about slavery and living a dignified life, even when you have indured innumerable indignities. It is rather remarkable that a slave rose to level that Fortune did in that time, he must do been quite a man.

  • Lara Lleverino
    2019-04-20 17:32

    My first impression was that this story was a bit Pollyannaish putting a happy glossed over spin on what must have been horrifying for young Atmun. But then I remembered the audience this is a book for young people. They do not need to be given all the horrors of the slave trade to know it was wrong and the lesson that Amos taught with his life was one that children need to learn and can learn from this book. That "it does a man no good to be free until he knows how to live, how to walk in step with God." That quote alone made the whole book worth reading!

  • Amy • A Magical World of Words
    2019-03-25 12:14

    I've read a lot of books about slavery victims, but this is definitely the best written. However, I did think it moved too fast. If the author had made it into a longer tale, I would probably have felt more for the characters and the story would have affected me more. As it was, it just skimmed over my emotions.