Seaward Born

Seaward Born

by Lea Wait
4.2 10


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Seaward Born by Lea Wait

Thirteen-year-old Michael knows he is lucky. Few slaves in 1805 Charleston are where they want to be. But Michael works on the docks and ships in Charleston Harbor, close to the seas he longs to sail.

Life seems good. But then his protective mistress dies and Michael's world changes. His friend Jim encourages him to "steal himself"; to run. Michael is torn.

Mama always taught him, "to get along, you go along." But Papa wanted him to be free. "You see a possibility, you take it....A fish you pull in as a free man tastes ten times sweeter than a fish you catch for a master." Now Mama and Papa are both dead, and Michael must decide alone.

Does he dare risk everything for a chance at freedom in some unknown place? If he and Jim are caught, he will have lost everything. But if he stays -- is staying safe worth staying a slave?

How Michael makes his decision to flee seaward to freedom is the heart of this moving and dramatic story set in an America where slavery is a way of life in the South, and the journey to freedom one of immense courage and mortal danger.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689848605
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 06/29/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 876,047
Product dimensions: (w) x 7.62(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lea Wait made her mystery debut with Shadows at the Fair, which was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Shadows on the Ivy, the third novel in her acclaimed series featuring Maggie Summer, is forthcoming in hardcover from Scribner. Lea comes from a long line of antiques dealers, and has owned an antique print business for more than twenty-five years. The single adoptive mother of four Asian girls who are now grown, she lives in Edgecomb, Maine. In addition to the Antique Print mysteries, Lea Wait writes historical fiction for young readers. Her first children's book, Stopping to Home, was named a Notable Book for Children in 2001 by Smithsonian magazine.
Visit her website at

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Seaward Born 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant to share this book with my children, ages 8 and 12, because the topic of slavery is a sensitive one. But this book made it easier to discuss. It treads a fine line ... it never praises slavery... but it does show how, under some circumstances, it could be tolerable ... but that freedom was worth taking major risks. My children loved the specific details of Micahel/Noah's escape, and his mother's middle passage journey. A book to read and discuss.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my son, because it sounded like ad adventure story, but both my daughters also read it, and asked for more by the same author. It is wonderful when someone can write well enough to bring history alive for young people!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
An action-packed story of a boy making life-determining decisions; wonderful details about life in slavery and on the sea that don't get in the way of an exciting story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Charleston of 1805-7, young slave Michael's world is changed when his master dies and his family is sold off to harsh farm life. But he is given a chance to work on the docks, one of his ambitions, and he hopes it will lead to work on a boat. He hears about slaves who have fled to the north and freedom and wonders if it would be possible for him to do the same. But the dangers seem insurmountable. Will he try for a new life of his own? Lea Wait gives us vivid scenes of Charleston and the life of a slave. The dangers of trying to get away are gripping. Michael, who renames himself Noah, finds out what is most important in a person's life. This is a rewarding and informative tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael is a slave in Charleston, and he likes his work on the docks and in the harbor there. But his mistress dies and he is afraid of being sold. Trying to run away is very serious for a slave. Sometimes they are killed. But Michael decides to risk it, with the help of a black mariner from Massachusetts. He changes his name to Noah, and he hides in a barrel on board a ship heading for Boston. But the adventure has just started then! I really liked Michael/Noah and I was scared about some things that happened to him -- but I kept reading! A good book!