Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (1/3/2022)
In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they'd been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.
Praise For African Town…
★ “The authors have done a remarkable job of weaving the stories of the characters together and telling the story from both the perspective of the slaves and the people who orchestrated their purchase. Though this story is fictional it is based on a vast amount of research that was done on the actual people who participated in this story. . . This story will inspire readers to do some research to find out more about the real events that took place. . . Not to be missed.” —School Library Connection, starred review
★ “Inspired by the true story of the last American slave ship, African Town is an epic . . . compelling novel that doubles as an important historic document, invaluable for both classroom use and independent reading.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “African Town is a book that should be both taught and treasured.”—BookPage, starred review
“The highly personal stories in verse reveal the different aspects of this illegal trade and the impact on both the Black enslaved people and the White crew members. . . The Africans’ attempts to hold true to their home cultures and traditions—most were Yoruba—as they try to adapt to their new reality come across most powerfully. Enhanced by rich backmatter, this is a strong addition to literature about slavery.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A thoughtful portrait of how trauma informs and inhibits identity making. The end matter is a wealth of fascinating information, from the author’s note that details Waters and Lathams’ research process, to a list that elaborates on the characters’ lives, to an account of what modern day Africatown (formerly Africa Town) looks like.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593322888, 448pp.
Publication Date: January 4, 2022