The Slave Dancer

The Slave Dancer

Book - 1973
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A young Louisiana boy faces the horrors of slavery when he is kidnapped and forced to work on a slave ship in this iconic novel. Thirteen-year-old Jessie Bollier earns a few pennies playing his fife on the docks of New Orleans. One night, on his way home, a canvas is thrown over his head and he's knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, Jessie finds himself aboard a slave ship, bound for Africa. There, the Moonlight picks up ninety-eight black prisoners, and the men, women, and children, chained hand and foot, are methodically crammed into the ship's hold. Jessie's job is to provide music for the slaves to dance to on the ship's deck;not for amusement but for exercise, as a way to to keep their muscles strong and their bodies profitable. Over the course of the long voyage, Jessie grows more and more sickened by the greed of the sailors and the cruelty with which the slaves are treated. But it's one final horror, when the Moonlight nears her destination, that will change Jessie forever. Set during the middle of the nineteenth century, when the illegal slave trade was at its height, 'The Slave Dancer' not only tells a vivid and shocking story of adventure and survival, but depicts the brutality of slavery with unflinching historical accuracy.
Publisher: Scarsdale, N.Y. : Bradbury Press, [1973]
ISBN: 9780440961321
Call Number: Teen Fiction
Characteristics: 176 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Subjects: Newbery Medal.
Slave trade -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Additional Contributors: Keith, Eros


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Sep 14, 2018

red_wolf_482 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 01, 2015

CheeseAnRIce thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

lms May 07, 2008

lms thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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Lovestoread5 Feb 24, 2020

This was a difficult book to get through once you get toward the middle - that's when all the slave issues happen and it's quite graphic. Even I, as an adult, had to put it down a few times. I can't imagine young kids reading it. But, that being said, it is an excellent story - I would think more High School ages would do better to read and report and do essays on it, though.

Indigo_Elephant_22 Jun 28, 2014

It was a great book! Even though it was sad until the very end.


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Indigo_Elephant_22 Jun 28, 2014

Jessie is a young boy going to get candles for his mother when he is stolen to work on a ship. the story is about his life and jobs on the ship and how he gets home.

lms May 07, 2008

"A thirteen-year-old boy wanders down the New Orleans wharf to watch the slave traders unload their cargo. He is shanghaied aboard a ship bound for Africa to play for the slaves while they exercise. He befriends a black boy his age and they witness the horrors of slavery together." (Novelist Review)


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Indigo_Elephant_22 Jun 28, 2014

"I can't hear it! I can't bear it!"


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