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Summary and book reviews of 47 by Walter Mosley

47 by Walter Mosley X
47 by Walter Mosley
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  • First Published:
    May 2005, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2006, 240 pages

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Book Summary

Mosley deftly weaves historical and speculative fiction into a powerful narrative about the nature of freedom.

A gripping Young Adult fiction debut by bestselling author Walter Mosley.

Walter Mosley is one of the best known writers in America. In his first book for young adults, Mosley deftly weaves historical and speculative fiction into a powerful narrative about the nature of freedom. 47 is a young slave boy living under the watchful eye of a brutal slave master. His life seems doomed until he meets a mysterious run-away slave, Tall John. Then 47 finds himself swept up in a struggle for his own liberation.

1.

I lived as a slave on the Corinthian Plantation my whole life up to the time that Tall John ran out of the back woods and into my life. I have no idea exactly how long the time before Tall John might have been, but I was most likely about fourteen years old at that time. Slaves didn't have birthday parties like the white children of Master or the white folk that either worked for Master or lived on the larder of his home.

Slaves didn't have birthday parties and so they didn't have ages like the white people did. Big Mama Flore always said that "White peoples gots as many ages as you can count but slaves on'y gots four ages. That's babychile, boy or girl, old boy or old girl, an' dead."

I loved Big Mama Flore. She was round and soft and always gave me a big hug in the morning. She was one of the only ones who ever showed me ...

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About This Book

An orphaned youth, born into slavery, discovers that his brutal circumstances need not prevent him from taking the inner journey to self-awareness and personal responsibility that ultimately define freedom.

When the cruel plantation owner determines that 47—a fourteen year-old who has never been given a proper name—is old enough to labor as a field slave, 47 is suddenly immersed in the adult world of abject bondage. Soon after, he meets an adolescent runaway, Tall John.

Totally unlike many other memorable characters crafted in brilliant novels set in the Antebellum South, Tall John has run to slavery through worlds unfathomed. 47 embarks on a fast-paced human drama and "scientific"...
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Media Reviews

Booklist - Hazel Rochman
Gr. 7-10. The magical realism allows for some plot contrivance, but Mosley brings the harsh facts and anguish very close, and the first-person narrative shows and tells how "slavery is the most unbelievable part of this whole story.

Publishers Weekly
Equal parts history and tall tale, this engaging story related by an endearing narrator is so full of dramatic tension that few readers will realize they're learning something, too. Ages 12-up.

Reader Reviews

Leaha

Perfect
I am doing a fiction book report, and this is by far the best book I have ever read. I really am glad I picked this book for my class.

Shay

A really good book!
I consider this book as one of the best books that I have read so far.

Nancy Jones

An Excellent Depiction of Slavery with a Unique Twist
This was one of the best YA books I read! The depiction of the abuses of slavery was very realistic. The main character was a slave boy who was sent to work in the fields after he finally reached a certain age. Before he had been in the main house...   Read More

Kathy

i donno
I am doing this book for a historical fiction assignment. I liked it (:

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Beyond the Book

Walter Mosley is the author of more than twenty books for adults, including the Fearless Jones series (3 books) and Easy Rawlins series (10 books), he has also published a handful of non fiction titles, a collection of stories and has contributed to other collections.  His books have been translated into at least twenty-one languages. 47 is his first book for children.

In 1996 he was named the first Artist-in-Residence, at the Africana Studies Institute, New York University. Since that residency, he has continued to work with the department, creating an ...

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