The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox

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Stars: *****

I read this book for the Newbery Project, From the Stacks, Winter Reading Challenge and Back to History challenges.

When I found out it was Historical fiction I was nervous as this isn’t a genre I usually read. However I needn’t have worried. One of the few histories I do read about is African history. This story is based on what happened June 3, 1840. A slave ship called The Moonlight shipwrecked in the Gulf of Mexico. Of the 13 crew and 98 slaves, only 2 survived.

Paula Fox did a superb job of telling the story. I don’t know if the survivors told their story and she based it on that or if nothing is known except what’s stated in the paragraph above and she made everything up. Either way it was a heart wrenching story that both pulled me in and pushed me away. I couldn’t stop reading it even when what happened was so appalling I felt ashamed to be human and Caucasian.

The Slave Dancer most definitely deserved to win the Newbery medal. I don’t know what other books were in the running that year but no matter how good they were, this one would have still beaten them up. We need to remember what was done to the Africans to help ensure nothing like that happens again.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.