Synopses & Reviews
This story of Thomas Jefferson's children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, tells a darker piece of America's history from an often unseen perspective — that of three of Jefferson's slaves — including two of his own children. As each child grows up and tells his story, the contradiction between slavery and freedom becomes starker, calling into question the real meaning of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This poignant story sheds light on what life was like as one of Jefferson's invisible offspring.
“The young innocents’ elemental questions raise fundamental issues for the reader. How could founding father Jefferson sell off Maddy’s best friend? What does it mean, ‘all people are created equal?’” Booklist
“Bradley’s sensitive and richly imagined vision pays respect to those who struggled for lives of stability and dignity, even as the whims and fortunes of the Jeffersons shifted beneath them.” Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books, starred review
“Bradley’s fine characterization and cinematic prose breathe life into this tragic story.” School Library Journal, starred review
“[an] eye-opening and powerful novel.” The Horn Book, starred review
“A big, serious work of historical investigation and imagination; the tale has never before been told this well.” Kirkus, starred review
About the Author
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley scored a hit with readers and reviewers with
her first novel, Ruthie’s Gift, and its companion, One-of-a-Kind Mallie.