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Amos Fortune, Elizabeth Yates, freedom, slavery, YA read
The worst situation ever can be used for the greatest glory if Christ is invited into it.

Inspiring YA Book That Everyone Should Read

“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.

What is your favorite historical fiction book?

About Emily Tomko

Emily Tomko's radical encounter with the Lord while at a nightclub changed her life forever and inspired her first novel, College Bound: A Pursuit of Freedom. She is the author of seven books, including 31 Thoughts on Prophecy and Leaving the Shallows: igniting the faith that overcomes the world. Her tastes tend toward vintage and she's a Germanophile, having spent a year in Bremen and Nuremberg. Emily loves the scriptures and writes with fierce compassion and a deep desire to see people freed from the miry clay of this world and walking in the truth.

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  1. Well presented, Emily. Sounds like a great read … if I can get past the emotional pain of the scenes of mistreatment! That part is a hard aspect for me, personally.

    • Stephanie, I am the same way — ultra-sensitive to stuff like that. But it wasn’t too graphic, and the redemption message was so worth it!

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