Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Jefferson's Sons

Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Release Date: September 15, 2011

Beverly, Harriet, Madison, and Eston are Thomas Jefferson's children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, and while they do get special treatment - better work, better shoes, even violin lessons - they are still slaves, and are never to mention who their father is. The lighter-skinned children have been promised a chance to escape into white society, but what does this mean for the children who look more like their mother? As each child grows up, their questions about slavery and freedom become tougher, calling into question the real meaning of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Told in three parts from the points of view of three of Jefferson's slaves - Beverly, Madison, and a third boy close to the Hemings family - these engaging and poignant voices shed light on what life was like as one of Jefferson's invisible offspring.

-I wish the story was being told from Harriet's viewpoint as well. I read her story in Wolf by the Ears by Ann Rinaldi but there were reports of historical inaccuracy so I really want to read something else about her (though I did enjoy the story a lot). I'm always baffled at how Jefferson kept his children as slaves so I'm definitely intrigued to read about how the children feel. And I don't know much about slavery during the colonial period (a point in time I never much cared for but I should still learn about it). Plus I haven't read a GREAT historical fiction in quite some time and I really need a historical fiction fix.

Breaking the Spine hosts this meme

What are you waiting on this week? Are you familiar with the history of the Hemings/Jefferson children?