When gambling debts and greed enter into the Butler household, Pierce Butler decides to host the biggest slave auction in American history and breaks a promise by selling Emma, his most-valued slave and caretaker of his children--a decision that brings about unthinkable consequences. A Coretta Scott King Award-winner. Reprint.
Inspired by the largest slave auction in United States history, this penetrating, sorrowful story is written in dialogue that alternates between the auction day and memories of it years later. The voices and viewpoints of slaves, owners, and the auctioneer are heard throughout, sharing extremely varied, and sometimes deeply disturbing, perspectives. Generations of slaves have served the Butler family when the current master, Pierce Butler, plans to pay off his gambling debts with an auction. Will, his wife Mattie, and their daughter, Emma, slaves with very close ties to the family--Mattie's mother was the master's wet nurse, Will and he grew up like brothers--share their feelings of anger, grief, and disgust as a torrential rain pours down on the vile proceedings. A fascinating, profound examination of slavery from all points of view. Julius Lester is also the author of TO BE A SLAVE, a Newbery Honor Book. Winner of the 2006 Coretta Scott King Author Award.
- Juvenile Fiction
- Historical / USA / Civil War Period (1850-1877), People + Places / United States / African-American, Social Issues / Prejudice + Racism
- 9-12 years
- April 1, 2007
- April 1, 2007
- Julius Lester