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  • Published: Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2006.
  • Year Published: 2006
  • Description: 351 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 1090

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0763636797
  • 0763624020
  • 9780763624026

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The astonishing life of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation : the Pox party / : taken from accounts by his own hand and other sundry sources

by Anderson, M. T.

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Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction, R Printz Honor 2007

Available Copies: West Teen

Additional Details

Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.

Community Reviews

Gripping read highlighting the nature of freedom

For the first several chapters of this astonishing novel, the reader is unmoored in space and time, uncertain even of genre. And this is a good thing, because the reader must slow down and learn along with Octavian himself the circumstances of his life. Slowly, details are revealed, and the reader realizes with Octavian that he is the center of cruel experiment on the cusp of the Revolutionary War in Boston, making the book a historical novel…or is it? It covers so much, including history, philosophy, hair-raising adventure, and the cruelty of slavery, that it is limiting to confine it to one genre. Additionally, the format of diary entries, manuscripts, letters, and public notices keeps the reader engaged in piecing together the full story. A highly illuminating and engrossing read unlike nearly any other book, the descriptions of the physical and mental anguish that went into slavery are among the most visceral the reviewer has ever read. For those looking for historical fiction or young adult literature at its finest, this is an excellent bet.

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