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FREEDOM

Catherine Johnson

  • Original Title: FREEDOM
  • Publication date: August 2018
  • Publisher: SCHOLASTIC
  • Country: GB
  • 160 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 18th century
  • Location setting: Jamaica, United Kingdom
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Life change, Facing failure, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Power, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Commitment, Friendship, Initiation journey, Death, Resilience, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Injustice, Exile, Survival, Rivalry, Inequality, Racism, Discriminations, Violence, Obscurantism, Duality between North and South, Social relations, Diversity, Multiculturalism, Tolerance, Intolerance

Pitch

A young slave tries to take his freedom back when the family he works for moves to London.

Comments

Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Awar (The Little Rebels Award recognises children’s fiction -for readers aged 0-12- which promotes social justice or social equality, challenges stereotypes or is informed by anti-discriminatory concerns.)

"The story is filled with humour, compassion and hope" Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian

A moving and well-written story about a young boy’s bid for freedom. It does incredibly well to endear the reader to the main character and has an honest portrayal about the cruelty and unfairness of slavery that plagued that time. This would make a strong drama film similar to 12 Years a Slave and Free State of Jones.

Catherine Johnson is a British author and screenwriter. She has written and published 20 novels. Her novel LANDLOCKED(1999) was honoured as an International Youth Library White Raven book. Other accolades include the 2014 Young Quills Award for best historical fiction for over 12s for her 2013 book SAWBONES, which was also shortlisted for the Rotherham Book Award, the Salford Children’s Book Prize and the Hoo Kids Book Award. As a screenwriter, she notably co-wrote the screenplay for the 2004 drama film Bullet Boy (directed by and co-written with Saul Dibb).

Summary

An action-packed and pacey story about slavery in Britain.
Nathaniel doesn't want to move to England with his master's family, leaving behind his mother and sister on the Jamaican plantation. But then he remembers what his mother told him: once a slave sets foot on English soil, they're free. Perhaps he can earn his fortune and buy his family's freedom, too.
When Nat arrives in London, he soon discovers that his mother was wrong. Nat refuses to live like a caged bird, and seizes the first opportunity to escape. Alone on the streets of London, he hears the story of a nightmare ship, the Zong, where over a hundred slaves were thrown overboard. Now, those responsible face a trial.
Will the world continue to turn a blind eye to the horrors of slavery? And can Nat really evade his masters forever?
Report available.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Catherine Johnson (born 1962) is a British author and screenwriter.
    Her first book, THE LAST WELSH SUMMER, was published by Welsh publisher Pont Books in 1993. She has since written and published 20 novels. In 1999 her book LANDLOCKED was honoured as an International Youth Library White Raven book. Other accolades include the 2014 Young Quills Award for best historical fiction for over 12s for her 2013 book SAWBONES, which was also shortlisted for the Rotherham Book Award, the Salford Children’s Book Prize and the Hoo Kids Book Award.
    She co-wrote the screenplay for the 2004 drama film Bullet Boy (directed by and co-written with Saul Dibb).
    Johnson has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the London Institute, a Writer in Residence at Holloway Prison and a Reader in Residence at the Royal Festival Hall’s Imagine Children’s Literature Festival.