By Julia Durango
Illustrated by Tom Pohrt
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
On his thirteenth birthday, Father Pedro asks Calepino to assist him with the slaves coming into Cartagena. Although born on a slave ship, up until now Calepino has been blessed with good fortune. But soon he's fighting seasickness, living in squalor, and cursing every minute.
Then he meets Mara and Tomi, a mother and son who remind him of his own past. When they are sold to a cruel man, Calepino is determined to find a way to save them. Will this be his chance to change someone else’s fortune, or will he put them all in more peril?
Richly detailed and researched, Julia Durango's gripping first novel brings to life what it means to be truly free.
“Based on real historical characters, this fictionalized account offers both well-researched detail on a buried chapter in the African slave saga and a clever young hero.” —Kirkus Reviews
"...the ultimate rescue adventure is gripping, but more compelling is the authentic history of people desperate and brave." ~ Booklist
- A Junior Library Guild Selection
- Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book
- Américas Award Honorable Mention
- Garden State Children's Book Award Nominee
Teacher Guide by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer