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African Town

by Latham, Irene,

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 7 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
Bridgeville Public Library New Books TEEN FIC LAT
Location  Bridgeville Public Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  TEEN FIC LAT
CLP - East Liberty Teen New Books TEEN FICTION Latham
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Teen New Books
Call Number  TEEN FICTION Latham
CLP - Main Library Teen Department - Teen Fiction TEEN FICTION Latham
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Teen Department - Teen Fiction
Call Number  TEEN FICTION Latham
CLP - Squirrel Hill Teen New Books TEEN FICTION Latham
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Teen New Books
Call Number  TEEN FICTION Latham
Sewickley Public Library Young Adult New Book YA LAT
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Young Adult New Book
Call Number  YA LAT
Unavailable (2)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Allegheny Regional Teen New Books CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Allegheny Regional
Collection  Teen New Books
Monroeville Public Library Teen New Books IN TRANSIT
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Teen New Books
On Order (1)
Location Collection Status
Scott Township Library New Material IN PROCESSING
Location  Scott Township Library
Collection  New Material
Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse.

In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda . Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they'd been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Inspired by the true story of the last American slave ship, African Town is an epic novel in verse told from multiple first-person points of view, each one written in a different verse form. The story begins in 1860 when Timothy Meaher, a wealthy Alabama riverboat captain, makes a $1,000 wager that he can illegally smuggle a ship's worth of enslaved workers back to Mobile without the authorities' knowledge. The action then moves to the West African kingdom of Dahomey, where readers meet 19-year-old Kossola, the story's protagonist, who will become one of 110 Africans kidnapped and sold to Meaher's representative. After a hideously arduous 40-day voyage aboard the ship Clotilda, the Africans arrive clandestinely in Alabama, where they are sold into slavery. The novel then follows the intertwined lives of Kossola and some half-dozen others, all of whom were "passengers" on the Clotilda. Readers see them gain their freedom and obsessively save their money until they can buy multiple plots of land adjacent to one another, thereby founding African Town in the early 1870s. This is by no means the end of the story, which goes on to chart the fully realized lives of its characters until 1901. African Town is a compelling novel that doubles as an important historic document, invaluable for both classroom use and independent reading."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Based on historical events and set between 1859 and 1901, Latham (D-39: A Robodog's Journey) and Waters (Dictionary for a Better World) pen an ambitious verse novel told in many voices. In spite of laws forbidding further importation of enslaved peoples into the United States, Timothy Meaher, owner of a shipping business, wagers $1,000 that he can smuggle "a good number" of enslaved people across the Atlantic and into Mobile, Ala., without being caught. As a result, Capt. William Foster sails the Clotilda to the Kingdom of Dahomey in 1860, buying 110 people from the nephew of Dahomey's king. Alternating among 14 voices, including that of the Clotilda, this novelization chronicles the journey of the 110 enslaved people across the Middle Passage and their subsequent lives, including a dream of returning home to Africa and, eventually, the establishment of free African Town, "a town far enough from Mobile that it feels/ like de center of the world, but also separate/ from de world." Though the myriad narrative voices can sound indistinct, the authors employ a range of poetic forms, resulting in an insightful, quickly paced telling that centers tradition and resilience. Abundant back matter includes an authors' note, glossary, timeline, list of poetry forms/styles employed, and more. Ages 12--up. Agent (for Latham and Waters): Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Agency. (Jan.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Clotilda (Ship) -- Fiction.
Black people -- Africa -- Fiction.
Slave trade -- Fiction.
Africatown (Ala.) -- History -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Africa -- Fiction.
Young adult fiction.
Novels in verse.
Publisher New York :2022
Other Titles Africatown
Contributors Waters, Charles, 1973- author.
Language English
Notes "Inspired by the true story of the last American slave ship."
Description 438 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 433-435).
ISBN 9780593322888
Other Classic View