NOBODY’S BOY by Jennifer Fleischner


Age Range: 10 & up
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Eleven-year-old George is a slave who is coming to hate his condition. He also realizes that his mother and a slave named Chap are finding ways to fight their oppression. Chap is helping slaves escape; George’s mother, Lizzie Keckly, aims to be “an upstanding citizen” and buy her freedom. George, who is fair-skinned enough to pass as white, realizes he can use his color as a weapon against servitude. Chap liked the “irony of George using his white skin against the white slaveholder.” George’s first act is to help a friend escape, acting as the white owner traveling with his slave. Based on the true story of a slave whose owner was involved in the Dred Scott case and whose mother became the dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln, this is a good story hobbled by a flat, scholarly tone, with too little dialogue or dramatic tension. Fleischner’s biography of Elizabeth Keckly, Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship between a First Lady and a Former Slave (2003), will reward older readers who want to know more. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-883982-58-8
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Missouri Historical Society
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2006


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