Bought this on our forum's bookstore. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and stories told from an "everyman" type in the first person, so this seemed right up my alley. And it was. Taking place shortly after the founding of the United States, this is a tale of a slave boy who was somewhat protected from the realities of his situation due to being the playmate of his master's son (both boys being born within the same week). However, he is being hired out as the book begins. The story covers various years as he enters his teens, and has some basis on a real location and personal accounts (which is common in quality historical fiction). That's enough to let you know what you're getting into at the broad strokes level.

Though I really liked this book, I think I want to start by talking about its two greatest weaknesses. Word of warning, some minor spoilers to follow. The first and most obvious is the anachronism of the "n-word." No not nigger,.n-word. This is a story with vicious beatings, starvation, and blatant racism depicted (accurately for the setting). The use of the term "n-word" is so out of place. It only happens three times in the book, but each time it immediately took me out of the scene. The second issue is the weakness of the ending inner monologue. Suffice it to say that a bit of prophetic foreshadowing with a Nate Turner appearance shoehorned in to give the ending a more upbeat feeling than it should.

That said, everything else about the book was spot on. It'd classify it as good reading for middle school aged children and up (as the writing isn't wordy, or overly convoluted, not that mature writing requires that). I'm really just a sucker for good historical fiction, and this book is a steal for the kindle edition. I'm something of a slower reader, but it could be consumed in a day, and would likely make for a good choice for a weekly book club. I felt like the characterization given to others through the main character's eyes is so accurate in how it's self-centered and grounded. I mean that they are who they are to him. We learn as the character learns because it's his story (I'm avoiding any names and specifics because I don't want to spoil any events).

I'm not a fan of numerical scoring, but let me say this: I have a folder dedicated to saving things for my daughter, videos she should watch, music she should listen to, books she should read, etc... which I will introduce to her as she grows up. This made the cut.