The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I (Paperback)
The Pox Party
Candlewick, 9780763653767, 384pp.
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (10/14/2008)
Compact Disc (1/9/2007)
Hardcover, Large Print, Large Print (6/1/2007)
Winter 2009 Kids' List
— Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
View the List
This deeply provocative novel reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.
It sounds like a fairy tale. He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest of classical educations. Raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother — a princess in exile from a faraway land — are the only persons in their household assigned names. As the boy's regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians' fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments — and his own chilling role in them. Set against the disquiet of Revolutionary Boston, M. T. Anderson's extraordinary novel takes place at a time when American Patriots rioted and battled to win liberty while African slaves were entreated to risk their lives for a freedom they would never claim. The first of two parts, this deeply provocative novel reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.