Paula Fox's Slave Dancer is a book I read as a child and thought was good work but deeply sad, so I had no desire to reread it. But I did want to OWN it, so I bought a copy, and I'm uncomfortable with books I haven't actually read. I mean, what if all the pages got put in backwards or something? So it languished on my shelves until this summer reading thing bubbled it forth.
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My memories are quite accurate -- it's a good book, and very sad. Jesse provides a manageable glimpse at the horrendous and horrific world of slave trading, with men twisted by the cruelty they inflict in their search of profit. My memory of the plot was vague -- Jesse is kidnapped onto a slave ship, he witnesses the torture forced on the Africans by the evil captain and his twisted crew, and everyone but Jesse dies in a shipwreck. Turns out that I had forgotten one other survivor, which is an interesting note about what I tend to cling to.
I'll tell my eight grader that it's a good book, but I'm not sure he's that into historical fiction.