Africa Is My Home

A Child of the Amistad

By Monica Edinger; Robert Byrd (Illustrator)
(Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763650384, 55pp.)

Publication Date: October 8, 2013

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Inspired by a true account, here is the compelling story of a child who arrives in America on the slave ship Amistad —and eventually makes her way home to Africa.

When a drought hits her homeland in Sierra Leone, nine-year-old Magulu is sold as a pawn by her father in exchange for rice. But before she can work off her debt, an unthinkable chain of events unfolds: a capture by slave traders; weeks in a dark and airless hold; a landing in Cuba, where she and three other children are sold and taken aboard the Amistad; a mutiny aboard ship; a trial in New Haven that eventually goes all the way to the Supreme Court and is argued in the Africans’ favor by John Quincy Adams. Narrated in a remarkable first-person voice, this fictionalized book of memories of a real-life figure retells history through the eyes of a child — from seeing mirrors for the first time and struggling with laughably complicated clothing to longing for family and a home she never forgets. Lush, full-color illustrations by Robert Byrd, plus archival photographs and documents, bring an extraordinary journey to life.

About the Author
Monica Edinger has been an elementary and middle school educator for more than twenty-five years and currently teaches fourth grade at the Dalton School in New York City. An inveterate learner, she was a 1997 American Memory Fellow at the Library of Congress and has received three National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships to study children's literature. Monica has been an active participant on the Child_lit Internet discussion group as well as other online communities for many years. She presents regularly at national conferences and is the author of two other books and numerous articles.

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