The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano

The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano

4.1 8
by Ann Cameron
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Kidnapped at the age of 11 from his home in Benin, Africa, Olaudah Equiano spent the next 11 years as a slave in England, the U.S., and the West Indies, until he was able to buy his freedom. His autobiography, published in 1789, was a bestseller in its own time. Cameron has modernized and shortened it while remaining true to the spirit of the original. It's a gripping…  See more details below

Overview

Kidnapped at the age of 11 from his home in Benin, Africa, Olaudah Equiano spent the next 11 years as a slave in England, the U.S., and the West Indies, until he was able to buy his freedom. His autobiography, published in 1789, was a bestseller in its own time. Cameron has modernized and shortened it while remaining true to the spirit of the original. It's a gripping story of adventure, betrayal, cruelty, and courage. In searing scenes, Equiano describes the savagery of his capture, the appalling conditions on the slave ship, the auction, and the forced labor. . . . Kids will read this young man's story on their own; it will also enrich curriculum units on history and on writing.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Olaudah Equiano was born in the kingdom of Benin, the child of local royalty. He was kidnapped and sold into slavery, first within Africa and then in the New World. Despite the difficulties he faced, he learned many skills-including the crucial ability to read. The injustices, terror and cruelty that slaves suffered were detailed in his memoirs which were published after he bought his freedom. Ann Cameron has adapted his narrative by shortening the text and updating the language. The cadence of the times is retained, and the book remains a riveting portrait of the horrors of slavery.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Born the son of a chief in the kingdom of Benin, 11-year-old Olaudah Equiano lived an idyllic life until the day he and his sister were kidnapped by traders and sold into slavery. Nothing could have prepared him for this devastating experience. And yet, after a period of adjustment, he was able to live a purposeful and positive life. Serving various sea captains, he sailed to a number of places, including the West Indies, Virginia, Philadelphia, London, Charleston, and Savannah; learned how to read and write; and fought in the French and Indian War. After earning enough money to purchase his freedom at age 21, he settled in England and wrote his autobiography, becoming a spokesperson for the abolition of slavery and an advisor to free blacks. The inspired simplicity of Cameron's adaptation quickly allows Equiano's gifted voice to establish a compelling relationship between himself and young readers. Well sculpted with detail, the book describes practices of slavery among Africans, the press gang, and the dangers of being a free black. The author reflects upon African tribal life and the contrasts among the various white people he encounters. His story is more exciting than Elizabeth Yates's Amos Fortune, Free Man (Dutton, 1967) and is a must for multicultural or history collections.-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Hazel Rochman
Kidnapped at the age of 11 from his home in Benin, Africa, Olaudah Equiano spent 11 years as a slave in England, the U.S., and the West Indies, until he was able to buy his freedom. His autobiography, published in 1789, was a best-seller in his own time, and it still speaks to us today. Cameron has modernized and shortened it while remaining true to the spirit of the original. It's a gripping story of adventure, betrayal, cruelty, and courage. In searing scenes, Equiano describes the savagery of his capture, the appalling conditions on the slave ship, the auction, and the forced labor. One chapter is about the horror of the West Indian plantations. Yet he survives; he retains his humanity, and he earns his freedom. He learns to read, and he writes his account to bear witness to what it was like to be a slave. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., points out in a fine introduction that Equiano shows the link between literacy and freedom, that he created the tradition of the "slave narrative," which influenced such African American writers as Douglass, Hurston, King, and Angelou. Kids will read this young man's story on their own; it will also enrich curriculum units on history and on writing. Read aloud the scenes when he is captured with his sister and torn away from her: "I went almost crazy from losing her . . . I would never forget her. I never saw her again."
From the Publisher
"Kidnapped at the age of 11 from his home in Benin, Africa, Olaudah Equiano spent the next 11 years as a slave in England, the U.S., and the West Indies, until he was able to buy his freedom. His autobiography, published in 1789, was a bestseller in its own time. Cameron has modernized and shortened it while remaining true to the spirit of the original. It's a gripping story of adventure, betrayal, cruelty, and courage. In searing scenes, Equiano describes the savagery of his capture, the appalling conditions on the slave ship, the auction, and the forced labor. . . . Kids will read this young man's story on their own; it will also enrich curriculum units on history and on writing."
—Booklist, Boxed Review

"The inspired simplicity of Cameron's adaptation quickly allows Equiano's gifted voice to establish a compelling relationship between himself and young readers. Well-sculpted with detail . . . his story is a must for multicultural or history collections."—School Library Journal

"Readers . . . will be fascinated by the details in this account."—The Bulletin

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307770226
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
12/08/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
842,727
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Ann Cameron is the author of many popular and award-winning books for children, including The Stories Julian Tells, The Stories Huey Tells, and The Most Beautiful Place in the World.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >