Ajeemah and His Son (Willa Perlman Books)

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9780060210434: Ajeemah and His Son (Willa Perlman Books)

A father and his eighteen-year-old son are each affected differently by their experiences as slaves in Jamaica in the early nineteenth century.

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About the Author:

James Berry has received the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to poetry and the Signal Poetry Award for his children's poetry. His previous poetry collections, When I Dance and Everywhere Faces Everywhere, were published to rave reviews in the United States. His many awards and honors include the 1993 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction for his novel Ajeemah and His Son and a 1989 Coretta Scott King Honor for his collection of short stories A Thief in the Village and Other Stories of Jamaica. James Berry was born and raised in Jamaica and now lives in Brighton, England.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6 Up-- On their way to arrange 18-year-old Atu's wedding in 1807, the young man and his father, Ajeemah, are captured by slave traders and shipped in chains from their African village to the sugar-cane plantations of Jamaica. They are separated--Ajeemah to work in a leather shop on one estate and Atu as a field hand on another. Ajeemah plots to rebel, but is be trayed. Atu commits suicide in despair when a horse that he has bought and cared for is taken from him. Ajeemah nearly goes mad with a vision of his son's death, until a Jamaican-born slave woman nurses him back to health. The two marry and survive to see their daughter marry in freedom. Told in a matter-of-fact manner, this historical novel has the realism, tone, and poignancy of a family story, poetic in its very spareness. Berry contrasts the men's fluid expression in their native language with their halting ``plantation English,'' and he beautifully captures the roots of the Caribbean dialect. Writing from an African perspective, the author conveys the differences between those slaves born in the New World and those brought from Africa; while his wife dreams of buying her freedom, Ajeemah refuses to pay money for that which was his by birth. Readers will comprehend the enormous grief experi enced by Ajeemah and Atu, but they will come away with a new sense of respect for those who maintained their dignity and humanity under the cruelest of circumstances. --Lyn Miller- Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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