The Night I Freed John Brown

 
0.0
 
4.0 (3)
1763 0
Publisher
Age Range
12+
ISBN
9780399250545
Buy This Book
      

User reviews

3 reviews

Already have an account? or Create an account
A great coming-of-age novel!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Bright Girl

I am always curious of new books. This one was mentioned at my book reading circle.



I became all the more interested when three libraries I went to said it was checked out!



So I bought a copyand was pleased I did. I definitely enjoyed the read and would recommend it. Its full of historical allusions that help a young boy in modern times see the light of his personal value in the world. You cant ask any more from a book that does that.



You know by the title that John Brown has some role in the storybut its not what you think it is.  A clue:  its in the spirit of Browns cry for freedom. That makes this novel precious.

Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
The Night I Freed........Not John Brown!
Overall rating 
 
2.0
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Severa Drabczyk

I really really was hoping this book would be better. I heard so many good things about it and was expecting it to be good, but my mistake. I definitely will not make the same mistake again. The book takes place in Harpers Ferry,VA. I live in Maryland and live pretty close to HF. Now, I know a whole lot about John Brown and ghosts, so when I read the discription of this book, I thought "Hey it's going to be about the ghost of John Brown stalking this kid! Awesome!" That wasn't the case however. The story was more about the main character's father and their religion than anything else. Which made me quite angry, I thought John Brown would be mentioned more and again, I thought wrong. I'm just warning all the people who want to read it for John Brown, don't. The story is not about John Brown at all, it's just a clever name that teases you into reading a not so good book.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
A Must-Read for Young People as well as Those Who Appreciate Masterfully-constructed Prose!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by M.A. Moreno, editor of Nebo

Book Review (first appeared in Nebo,Spring 2008)


The Night I Freed John Brown (May 2008, Philomel Books) is the first young adult novel by John Michael Cummings, and I can honestly say that it is a must-read for young people as well as those who appreciate masterfully-constructed prose.


Based on Cummings novella The House of My Father, this novel tells the story of Josh Connors, a youth growing up in the tourism-centered town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The story is presented from Joshs perspective as he struggles with his domineering, antisocial father, who holds a grudge against the Harpers Ferry establishment for reasons unknown to Josh.


Josh is a fascinating protagonist in that he is still quite immature, which allows for his imagination to run wild. This trait is exemplified in his search for the fictional cowmint, a miraculous plant made up by his father. Joshs dogged efforts to find the mint eventually results in success, and his discovery manages to bring peace to his dysfunctional family, at least for a while.


The most interesting character in the novel is Bill Connors, the protagonists father. Constantly angry and fed up with the world, Bill is generally disapproving of everything from religion to the honored town hero of the past, John Brown. Due to his emotional distance and unwillingness to be open with his sons, his motivation for being so sickened with Harpers Ferry and the church are not made clear until the climax of the novel. Once his hidden backstory is made manifest, he proves to be a far more sympathetic character than either Josh or the readers could have imagined.


The novel takes plenty of time to set up its setting and characterseven the minor ones, which are all interesting and memorable. Joshs misadventures from one episode to another are often amusing and always enjoyable to read. Once the story reaches its climax, it takes a thrilling turn that serves as a worthy pay-off for the preceding events. In fact, if the book was difficult enough to put down before the last sixty pages, it is downright impossible to put down afterward. The dénouement is also very satisfying and wraps up the story nicely. Overall, the story is well-constructed and thoroughly entertaining.


The themes of restored faith and familial reconciliation are well-presented, and are neither too heavy-handed nor too underdeveloped. These themes should be easily recognizable and relatable to the young adult audience of the book. Ultimately, the novel should appeal to young readers and should provide enriching and inspiring ideas for them to consider.


Parents, teachers, and librarians should encourage young adults to read Cummings first novel. It is well-suited for their reading level and range of interests, and its underlying messages present the sort of encouragement that these youths need to persevere in their adolescent years. The only objection that some parents may have is the use of harsh language in the book, but this is done quite realistically, and to be fair, honestly. Also, despite the acts of mischief and vandalism that frequently occur throughout the book, Cummings makes no efforts to encourage such acts; therefore, this should not prove to be a problem, either.


From the detail-rich first chapter that transports the reader into this world, until the fulfilling conclusion that ties up the story threads efficiently, Cummings first novel is sure to be a delight to all who read it, and I wholeheartedly recommend this new book to bibliophiles young and old.

--end--
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Rosenhart Book I 'The Sight'
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Be the Legend, Join the Quest" The Rosenhart...
Fabric of a Generation
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For one teen, life's greatest adventure isn't time travel but...
Close Calls: How Eleven US Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Historians tell the stories of tragic and untimely presidential deaths,...
Imber (Book One of The Thanatos Trilogy)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The locks are failing. The...
Awesome Dog 5000 (#1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Marty, Ralph, and Skyler might make the ultimate secret combo...
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Althea Gibson was the quickest, tallest, most fearless athlete in...
The Big Game
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Danny Owens is dedicating his seventh-grade season to his Super...
Race to the Sun
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect...
Suffragette: The Battle for Equality
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Imprisonment, hunger strikes, suffrajitsu — the decades-long fight for women’s...
Catherine's War
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A magnificent narrative inspired by a true survival story that...
Dangerous Alliance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older...
Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twins Stacy and Gina Cavallaro are on rival little league...

Latest Member Reviews

The Babysitters Coven
 
3.3
"What worked: This is a quirky, humorous at times paranormal where a babysitter's club is really a code name for..."
Dangerous Alliance
 
4.0
"Lady Victoria 'Vicky' Aston has a good life. Her older sister is married to a charming Viscount; her family estate..."
 
5.0
"In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki is disgusted when he finds out that his pen-pal Charlie is a girl. Still, they..."
Loki: Where Mischief Lies
 
3.0
"LOKI: WHERE MISCHIEF LIES tells a new story of teen Loki, before all the big battles and intergalactic feuds with..."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
5.0
"Told from the perspective of a girl who was captured and escaped, JANE ANONYMOUS is a thriller of both physical..."
Jason & Kyra
 
N/A
"posso usare l'italiano or english"
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
4.7
"In all seriousness, Fireborne by Rosaria Munda is the best. I have nothing to compare it to. It is unique,..."
Tweet Cute
 
4.3
"TWEET CUTE is a fun enemies-to-dating and anonymous-You've-Got-Mail style YA contemporary romance. The book follows the two protagonists in equal..."
Throw Like a Girl
 
4.3
"THROW LIKE A GIRL is a charming story about chasing your dreams, a little romance, and a passion for sports...."
The Boy Next Story
 
4.0
"'The Boy Next Story' by Tiffany Schmidt follows main character Aurora, who goes by Rory, as she tries to figure..."
 
4.0
"Veronica can see the ghost of her dead mother. She also suffers from debilitating migraines that hold her back from..."
Pax Novis (The Pax Archives, #1)
 
4.0
"PAX NOVIS is an engaging YA sci-fi novel that takes place in the future, when humans have colonized other planets...."