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Amos Fortune, Free Man (Newbery Library, Puffin) by Elizabeth Yates (1989-05-01)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Amos Fortune, Free Man (Newbery Library, Puffin) by Elizabeth Yates (1989-05-01).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Elizabeth Yates(Author)

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  • Elizabeth Yates(Author)
  • Puffin Books (1850)
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Review Text

  • By Liz Culpepper on November 22, 2011

    I'm white - I bought this book knowing nothing about Amos Fortune or the author, relying mainly on the fact that it had received a Newberry Medal. Sadly, I was offended by this book from chapter one and many times throughout. I had to stop and see who the author was a few chapters in, because to anyone with awareness, it was obviously written from a very slanted and inaccurate perspective.I read the book in one evening and went back to Amazon this morning to read the reviews. It was disheartening to read such praise for the book. As it was written from the perspective of a white woman in the 1950's, perhaps many of the reviewers found the author's perspective easier to relate to than a more accurate one. Having slavery depicted so idyllically may be helpful for some people, who would like to learn about our country's history without having to grapple with feelings of guilt. The book allows a calculated glance at slavery without the reader having to absorb the atrocity of the institution. That so many reviewers had praise for Elizabeth Yates' self serving biograpy is of course troubling, but I'm confident that the 4 and 5 stars will continue as many people do not want to get a clue - if it means upsetting their own sense of entitlement.One of many offensive excerpts: On page 156 Amos is talking to a black woman Lois, whose child has just been sold at a vendue (an auction subsidized by the town where children and elderly are auctioned off to the lowest bidder. The town pays the lowest bidder to feed and care for the person,and the buyer gets cheap labor and/or a profit). Lois, who is described as shiftless because she is unable to properly care for her six children after her husband dies, says to Amos about her newly sold child, "Likely his back will be sore with the beatings he'll be getting. 'And perhaps they will do something to his soul.' Amos reminded her, for he knew the boy too. 'Wings can't grow without a little suffering.'"It's convenient that a white author used the voice of a black slave to uphold our country's systemic brutality of black people. And it's all done under the guise of Christianity.Another excerpt supposedly in Amos' words printed on the back cover of the book: "It does a man no good to be free until he learns how to live."Well if this doesn't make all of us white people out there feel just a little bit better about enslaving others, I don't know what else could. To imply that black people aren't ready for freedom until they've been stripped of their culture and religion is a theme supported throughout the book.I know my review of 1 star will remain in the minority. But hopefully it will help at least one person recognize the hypocrisy that is this book.

  • By Stephen Eubanks on February 22, 2018

    Amos Fortune: Free Manby Elizabeth YatesA Book ReviewAmos Fortune is a slow-moving adventure about At-Mun (Amos). Throughout the book, Amos is a slave. He was born in Africa. He is 15 when he is captured. During his trip to the American colonies, he is treated roughly and disrespectfully. He is traded between different families, which makes him feel stressed. One of the men in the family he was traded to was a tanner. A tanner is someone who tans animal hides into fine leather and can cleverly make clothing with it. The man allows Amos to be an apprentice under him and learn the trade. Because Amos is good at tanning, he eventually saves up enough money to purchase his freedom. He always has good luck. That is why his last name is Fortune. Amos goes through a spiritual adventure throughout the book. He always prays to God and does the right thing. He learns that arguing and fighting are not the right things. Amos tries to free every desperate slave he meets. He marries a slave named Violet. Violet has a daughter named Cylyndia. It takes Cylyndia a while to understand why their new home doesn't have a big man with a cane that acts as the slave owner. Amos loves Violet and Cylyndia, and they love him. Amos is a spiritually devoted man who doesn't care if people taunt him or if they are mean to him. He has feelings, but he does not let the comments get to him. The comments do not bother Amos because he is Godly man. Amos and Violet stick together throughout the book and help people along, whether they're poor, or whether they just need help. The two of them are able to build their own farmhouse, make a successful tanning business, and donate extra money to the church and the school. Personally, I did not like the book Amos Fortune. I'm more of a fast-paced and adventurous kind of guy. Amos Fortune is well written and is a remarkable story of someone who overcomes hardship. However, it is slow-moving and not very interesting to me. The actions of the story take too long to happen. If you like books like Sarah Plain and Tall, you will totally love this book. If you prefer books like Harry Potter and The Hardy Boys, you may think that this book is boring and slow. I enjoy reading books that reveal in the beginning what is going to happen. Unfortunately, I feel that in this book, you have to wait a long time to know what happens next.


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