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African Town
(Updated: March 20, 2023)
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What worked: Powerful free verse tale loosely based on the true story of the enslaved people on the ship Clotilda. Later, after the Civil War, these survivors ended up purchasing land that would be called African Town. This novel shares the story of those individuals who played a part in not only the capture of African citizens but the people who survived the grueling voyage to Alabama.

To start off this story is gut-wrenching with the portrayals of what the Clotilda enslaved people went through by being captured and then sold off. The journey over to Alabama is shown in grueling and inhumane descriptions only later for these people to suffer the humiliation of being auditioned off in a strange land.

The strength of this novel is the free verse format that makes it easy to follow along with the many different points of view. The story is very engrossing and haunting.

I loved the different points of view told throughout this story. Kossola begins by sharing where the story first starts in Bante, Africa, and how he is captured and later sold off with others. There's the point of view of rich businessman Timothy Meaher who makes a bet to sneak over African slaves into Alabama without being caught. Also, there is the point of view of the other captives and the ship itself.

Powerful, important historical based on a true part of history with not only its vivid depictions of the horror of slavery but the strength and hope of those taken against their wills to a foreign land. A must-read and a perfect addition to any school library.
Good Points
1. Powerful story of a historical event
2. Engrossing tale of enslaved people
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