The story of Jonas

by Dahlberg, Maurine F., 1951-

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Wilkinsburg Public Library Juvenile Fiction J DAH HISTORICAL FICTION
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
Collection  Juvenile Fiction
Jonas has lived all of his thirteen years on a farm in Missouri, and even though he hears whispers about freedom, he thinks he'll never try to escape. He knows what happens to slaves who attempt to run away. Besides, Master William has promised to make Jonas his personal manservant, and Jonas thinks fine suits and special privileges sound like a dream. But this dream is put on hold when, in 1859, Master William's good-for-nothing son, Percy, decides to seek his fortune in the Kansas Territory gold fields, taking Jonas along as his cook and caretaker. Although Percy is a brutal master, Jonas is surprised to find that the other members of the wagon train don't hold his views about slavery. Jonas even befriends a doctor's daughter, who teaches him how to read. And with each word Jonas learns, he discovers that there are much bigger dreams a boy can have than being another man's servant.
In this unforgettable novel, Maurine F. Dahlberg tells the story of a slave coming to understand his own worth. "The Story of Jonas" is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "A house slave on the Hoopers' Missouri farm in 1859, 13-year-old Jonas aspires to become his master's manservant when he grows big enough. Before that day comes, though, he is sent to accompany the Hoopers' ne'er-do-well son, Percy, to the goldfields in the Kansas Territory. Jonas proves his worth to their companions in the wagon train and, seeing new possibilities for his life, begins to dream of freedom. When Percy puts him in an unbearable situation, Jonas sets a new course for his future. Dahlberg paints a convincing picture of Jonas, who is surprised by what he finds in the broader world and increasingly hopeful that he can make his own way, given a chance. Though there are many stock characters, the attitudes and outlooks of the slaves in the opening scenes are sensitively portrayed. The ability to let readers feel the essential cruelty of slavery without scenes of excessive brutality makes this well-crafted, engaging novel appropriate for a middle-grade audience. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Slavery -- Fiction.
Fugitive slaves -- Fiction.
African Americans -- Fiction.
Voyages and travels -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Farrar, Straus and Giroux,2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 148 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 0374372640
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