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Fox, Paula The Slave Dancer ISBN 13: 9780440961321

The Slave Dancer - Softcover

 
9780440961321: The Slave Dancer
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Jessie Bollier often played his fife to earn a few pennies down by the New Orleans docks. One afternoon a sailor asked him to pipe a tune, and that evening Jessie was kidnapped and dumped aboard The Moonlight, a slave ship, where a hateful duty awaited him. He was to play music so the slaves could "dance" to keep their muscles strong, their bodies profitable. Jessie was sickened by the thought of taking part in the business of trading rum and tobacco for blacks and then selling the ones who survived the frightful sea voyage from Africa. But to the men of the ship a "slave dancer" was necessary to ensure their share of the profit. They did not heed the horrors that every day grew more vivid, more inescapable to Jessie. Yet , even after four months of fear, calculated torture, and hazardous sailing with a degraded crew, Jessie was to face a final horror that would stay with him for the rest of his life.

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From the Back Cover:
"Fox has woven a spellbinding tale of suspense and survival that will horrify as well as fascinate..."

-- Library Journal (starred review)

"A story that movingly and realistically presents one of the most gruesome chapters of history, with all the violence, inhuman conditions, and bestial aspects of human nature -- exposed but never exploited in Fox's graphic, documentary prose."

-- Booklist (starred review)

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
An Excerpt from The Slave Dancer

        I heard one piercing scream. My teeth began to chatter.

        Then a very small brown face rose above the rail as though it had flown
        up from the sea. It continued to rise slowly until its brown bare chest
        was visible. Then I saw dark hands around its waist. The hands lifted,
        the little girl's legs flew out, and I saw the head of the young man who
        had been carrying her.

        For a second, she sat on the deck, looking all around her, her eyes huge
        with amazement, then she crawled and jumped toward the rail but was forced
        back by the forward propulsion of the man who tottered over the rail,
        unable, it seemed, to bring his body any further. The child hugged the
        young man's neck frantically and buried her face in his hair. At that
        moment, Nicholas Spark bent his thin length and gripped the man's back
        as though he were gathering up cloth, and yanked him altogether over,
        the chains around his ankles striking the deck with a violent clanging.
        The clanging never ceased as one after another the captives struggled
        over the rail and were dropped or dragged onto the deck. How long did
        it all take? I'll never know. None of us moved.

        

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  • PublisherLaurel-Leaf Books
  • Publication date1997
  • ISBN 10 0440961327
  • ISBN 13 9780440961321
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages144
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Published by Laurel Leaf, 1996
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