My Name is Not Friday

by | Read by Dion Graham

Published by Scholastic Audio

A gorgeously written account of a freeborn black boy sold into slavery during the Civil War; think 12 Years a Slave for young adults. Well-mannered Samuel and his mischievous younger brother Joshua are free black boys living in an orphanage during the end of the Civil War. Samuel takes the blame for Joshua's latest prank, and the consequence is worse than he could ever imagine. He's taken from the orphanage to the South, given a new name--Friday--and sold into slavery. What follows is a heartbreaking but hopeful account of Samuel's journey from freedom to captivity, and back again.

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AudioFile Review

My Name is Not Friday

Dion Graham’s soft voicing of 13-year-old Samuel brings out all the heartache in his young life. Near the end of the Civil War, the free black orphan is sold into slavery by the priest in charge of the orphanage where he lives, condemning him to a life of hardship. This is a time when slaves are being pushed ever harder in order to maintain the lives of their owners. Graham’s expert pacing, inflection, and lightly accented speech capture the pathos of this intolerable situation, allowing listeners to feel the cruelty of being forced to live as the property of those who can even take away one’s own name. An excellent choice for middle grade units on slavery, the book and Graham’s narration will aid young people in the exploration of this shameful chapter in American history. S.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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