“Hate could do that to a man, Amos thought, consume him and leave him smoldering. But he was a free man, and free at a great cost, and he would not put himself in bondage again.”
Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates is a story not to be missed. It is the tale of a teenage boy in Africa, son of a chief and leader of his people, who is kidnapped one night by slavers and brought to Massachusetts. Educated by Quakers and offered his freedom, Amos possesses both an extraordinary spirit as well as a penchant for learning. His tenderness for his young, handicapped sister whom he left behind in Africa, and the memory of how he would want to see her treated, prove to be the gateway for leading other suffering Africans to freedom. Amos is as wise and careful as he is industrious, and buys the freedom of others with the money earned by his exquisite skill in tanning leather.
This Newberry Medal winner details the horrors of African tribal slavery, the transatlantic voyage, and the mistreatment of blacks in America. Yet the most incredible part of Elizabeth Yates’ Amos Fortune, Free Man is the picture of redemption. Suffering such cruelty and injustice as he did, the hero of the story could easily have become embittered, even murderous in his spirit. But like Joseph in prison, he did not forget his identity as a king–the son of a chief in Africa–and as he read the Bible, he realized that he was a king unto the Lord (Rev. 1:6).
If you have ever identified with Joseph in prison, or if you are simply looking for a captivating, inspiring read, check out Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates. The most unimaginable circumstances are used for the greatest good when surrendered to Christ.
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