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ESCAPE ACROSS THE WIDE SEA by Katherine Kirkpatrick


by Katherine Kirkpatrick

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8234-1854-5
Publisher: Holiday House

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, King Louis XIV began the persecution of the Huguenots that would devastate France and lead to the torture, death, or exile of 20 percent of the country. Nine-year-old Daniel Bonnet hopes to be as strong and faithful as his namesake Daniel in the lion’s den, but as a Huguenot himself, he has a hard journey ahead of him. He flees the country, is stabbed by dragoons, undergoes a tortuous draining of an infected leg, and finds himself on a horrifying passage to Africa on a slave ship, then to the Caribbean, and eventually to New York, where he is part of the settlement of New Rochelle. Kirkpatrick’s fast-paced drama is rooted solidly in the particulars of late-17th-century life, and there’s plenty of action to sustain readers as they learn about a period of history likely to be new to them. Helpful notes put the story in its historical context, discuss the slave trade and the sugar plantations of the Caribbean, and suggest a parallel to Jews and the Holocaust. (map, pronunciation guide and glossary, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 8-12)