Stolen Man: The Story of the Amistad Rebellion

Overview

A personal face is given to the remarkable true tale of Sengbe Pieh, the African man captured by slavers who led the Amistad slave rebellion at sea. The struggle is explored from the main character?s point of view, giving readers insight into Sengbe?s heart and soul as the story unfolds. Sengbe?s strength shines through in this skillfully told, compassionate look at one man?s fight for freedom for all.

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Overview

A personal face is given to the remarkable true tale of Sengbe Pieh, the African man captured by slavers who led the Amistad slave rebellion at sea. The struggle is explored from the main character’s point of view, giving readers insight into Sengbe’s heart and soul as the story unfolds. Sengbe’s strength shines through in this skillfully told, compassionate look at one man’s fight for freedom for all.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Polisar's ability to capture child-like humor, fear, excitement and wonder has always been obvious."  —School Library Journal

"Tells the true story of the rebellion on the Amistad slave ship from the point of view of the Sengbe Pieh, better known as Joseph Cinque, as he is captured, bound, and thrown onto the ship."  —Lincoln Journal Star

"Polisar handles the details gently in this beginner chapter book and keeps his focus on the man who only wanted to get back to his country, his wife and his children."  —San Diego Union Tribune

"A starting place for children who want to know more."  —St Louis Post Dispatch

Lincoln Journal Star
Tells the true story of the rebellion on the Amistad slave ship from the point of view of the Sengbe Pieh, better known as Joseph Cinque, as he is captured, bound, and thrown onto the ship.
San Diego Union Tribune
Polisar handles the details gently in this beginner chapter book and keeps his focus on the man who only wanted to get back to his country, his wife and his children.
St. Louis Post Dispatch
A starting place for children who want to know more.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Polisar has condensed the horrific story of the capture of free men in Africa and the harrowing crossing of the Atlantic into a book that can be easily understood by younger readers. He doesn't sugarcoat the story, and he includes quite a bit of information in his twenty-eight page text. The treatment of the slave know as Joseph Cinque (Sengbe) is enough to make anyone despair at the abominable practice of slavery. That Sengbe survived and, with fellow slaves, managed to capture a ship and attempt to sail back to Africa is amazing. The sad part is that they were tricked and ended up in the U.S., but their case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The story is told from Sengbe's point of view so there are limitations—one has to infer that he is talking about the Supreme Court and that this historic case, which was argued by a former president (John Adams), resulted in their freedom. The ending leaves a bit to be desired, since it would be nice to have a few facts about what happened to Sengbe upon his return to his homeland. Older readers may wish to delve a bit deeper into the story.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5
Best known for his irreverent musical concoctions, Polisar here tackles the dramatic story of Joseph Cinque and the 1839 revolt on the slave ship Amistad . He tells the story entirely from Cinque's point of view, imagining his horror at being captured and torn from his family, his growing determination to escape, and his confusion at landing in the hands of the American justice system. While the writing is gripping, there are some major omissions, and there is no time line, list of sources, or suggestions for further reading. The afterword deals only with Polisar's own connection to the story. The Story of the Amistad Rebellion appears on the cover, but the word "Amistad" is never referred to again or explained. John Quincy Adams, who led Cinque's defense in front of the Supreme Court, is referred to only as a great "Chief" and is never named. No years are mentioned. These and similar failings lessen the book's value as historical fiction. Veronica Chambers's Amistad Rising (Harcourt, 1998) is also fictionalized, but has a firmer grounding in history and striking illustrations. Polisar's book will whet readers' appetites to know more; librarians will need to be at the ready to fill in the gaps.
—Grace OliffCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938663508
  • Publisher: Rainbow Morning Music Alternatives
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Louis Polisar is a four-time Parents Choice Award winner who has written songs for Sesame Street and Weekly Reader; starred in Field Trip, an Emmy Award–winning television show for children; performed at the White House, the Smithsonian, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and has been featured regularly on the Learning Channel. He has won a Special Library Recognition Award for his "ability to communicate with and excite children to read" through his books, poems, and songs, which include Barry Louis Polisar's a Little Different; Insect Soup; Old Dogs, New Tricks; and Old Enough to Know Better. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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