• Barbara Morrison
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party, by M. T....
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party, by M. T. Anderson
Contributor
Written by
Barbara Morrison
April 2011
Contributor
Written by
Barbara Morrison
April 2011

There’s a song that Alistair Brown sings that always moves me. In Jamestown the ship’s crew sing of “the wild delight of a sailor homeward bound” after being at sea for three years. They urge each other on, anticipating their welcome. But the line that makes me catch my breath is when they arrive and friends and family crowd around saying, “Welcome, Columbia’s mariners, to your home and liberty.”


We’re talking about a time long ago when the country was young and wooden ships sailed the oceans, so the equating of the United States with liberty has the naive freshness of the days when the country stood as a beacon of freedom. However, the simple pride I felt in my country as a child has long been undercut by the realisation that those same founding fathers who bewailed the tyranny of England were themselves slave owners. Liberty, of course, was only for white men.


This Young Adult book was first recommended to me by Lesley, a children’s librarian. SInce then, others have mentioned how good it is.

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