Twelve Years a Slave: A True Story (Collins Classics) (Kobo eBook)
The shocking first-hand account of one man’s remarkable fight for freedom; now an award-winning motion picture. ‘Why had I not died in my young years – before God had given me children to love and live for? What unhappiness and suffering and sorrow it would have prevented. I sighed for liberty; but the bondsman's chain was round me, and could not be shaken off.’ 1841: Solomon Northup is a successful violinist when he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Taken from his family in New York State – with no hope of ever seeing them again – and forced to work on the cotton plantations in the Deep South, he spends the next twelve years in captivity until his eventual escape in 1853. First published in 1853, this extraordinary true story proved to be a powerful voice in the debate over slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War. It is a true-life testament of one man’s courage and conviction in the face of unfathomable injustice and brutality: its influence on the course of American history cannot be overstated.
This young adult historical fiction packs an absolutely powerful punch and it absolutely blew me away. It is ENORMOUSLY FUN to read, and it’s rich with juicy historical goodness, from the locations to the language used to the many chaotic adventures our characters get wrapped up in. The story introduces Monty, a young British lord being groomed to grow up as a gentleman, but to absolutely no avail. Before he takes over his family’s estate (much to his father’s chagrin), Monty embarks on a Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend (whom he’s disastrously in love with), and his sister, but they end up on a whirlwind manhunt across Europe that leaves behind everything they knew before! Full of mayhem and mystery and written with such wit, this book is also balanced with commentary about many historical prejudices involving race, sexuality, and physical ability that persisted in history.
Fall in love with their story, and be sure not to miss the sequel, Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy!
(Young Adult Historical Fiction and Romance, Ages 16+) - reviewed by Isabel