2013 Reading: Come August, Come Freedom by Gigi Amateau

come augustCome August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel by Gigi Amateau

In this book for younger readers (12 and up), Gigi Amateau tells the beautiful story of a failed slave rebellion in 1800. The story is largely imagined, and yet it is clearly based on meticulous research, and it sheds light on a historical event with which I was not familiar.

I am not in the habit of reading books aimed at younger readers. This one I read, though, because I know Gigi and because the book is a finalist for the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award.

Told mostly from the point of view of Gabriel, the leader of the failed rebellion, the story depicts his childhood on a Virginia plantation. It is often the story of betrayal–at the hands of his white playmate who becomes his “master” and his compatriots in the rebellion. But it’s also a love story. For me, primarily, it was a history lesson.

I would definitely recommend this book for young readers.

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