1776: Son of Liberty (Young Founders #3)

1776: Son of Liberty (Young Founders #3)

by Elizabeth Massie
     
 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” On his farm in Maryland, sixteen-year-old Caleb Jacobson hears rumors of an armed rebellioni of the Massachusetts colonists against he oppressive tyranny of King George III and his soliders. Educated in a small Quaker school, Caleb has been taught that it is wrong to raise

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Overview

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” On his farm in Maryland, sixteen-year-old Caleb Jacobson hears rumors of an armed rebellioni of the Massachusetts colonists against he oppressive tyranny of King George III and his soliders. Educated in a small Quaker school, Caleb has been taught that it is wrong to raise one's hand against another. Yet Caleb is a free black living in a slave colony. He knows firsthand the horrors and hardships of slavery and wonders what good an American victory will do if his fellow blacks - including his best friend Gaddi - remain shackled in bondage. Then comes news that the British Governor Lord Dunmore promises freedom to any slave who joins his army against the Americans. Can he be trusted to keep his work? Or should Caleb support the colonists' fight in hope of a better future for his people? Caleb will have to choose."

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This book is as much a work of historical fiction as it is a novel about growing up. Caleb is a young free black living on a Quaker farm in the slave state of Maryland. Early in his life, Caleb's gift for working with horses comes to the attention of the farm's owner, and Caleb's sheltered life on the farm comes to an end. As he journeys to other farms to work with their horses, Caleb sees firsthand the evils of slavery and the cruelty of slave owners. He also meets his first friend. Throughout the book, Caleb struggles at times with growing up, especially in controlling his temper. He also struggles with the idea of American freedom from the British. What good is freedom to Blacks, for whom no freedom is in sight? Or can Lord Dunmore be trusted to uphold his promise of freedom to any Blacks who help him fight against the British? Eventually, these two struggles, against anger and for freedom, combine to force Caleb to fight for his very life. This book is part of the "Young Founders" series, each book of which focuses on a different period in history. The author masterfully weaves historical threads through a gripping tale of a young boy's growing up years. A great book for discussions, Massie focuses on one boy's story, while making clear the plight of slaves as seen through his young and innocent eyes. This book makes a perfect addition to any middle school classroom library. 2000, Tom Doherty Associates LLC,
KLIATT
The cover of Son of Liberty grabs you with an African American youth wielding a rifle with a bayonet. The protagonist, Caleb Jacobsen, could be called the anti-Johnny Tremain. Tremain secretly had links to money and power. Caleb is a free black living on a Quaker's land, who has to keep his non-slave status a secret when he is in public with the landowner. Like Tremain, Caleb has one damaged hand, but Caleb's injury is from birth. And Caleb makes the choice to fight for the British, not the "rebels," when he learns (falsely, as it turns out) that emancipation and land will be the reward for those blacks who take the British side. The tragedies that befall Caleb are exhausting to read: his being mistaken for a slave and beaten, the death of his mother, his banishment from his own cabin after kissing the daughter of the landowner, the drowning of his closest friend. Somehow Massie manages to relate these things while still engendering a feeling of hope for Caleb at the end of the story. It's a good read. It is an eye-opener to read about free blacks (as they were called) fighting on both sides of the Revolutionary War, and as a librarian I welcome this. (Young Founders) KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2000, Tor, 215p, 18cm, $4.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Frieda Toth; Children's Libn., Crandall P.L., Glen Falls, NY, November 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812590944
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
07/28/2000
Series:
Young Founders Series, #3
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

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