Summary and book reviews of My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter

My Name is Not Friday

by Jon Walter

My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter X
My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2016, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2017, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Bradley Sides

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Book Summary

"Samuel's endearing, immersive narration makes the novel a fascinating and unforgettable account of a brutal and shameful chapter in America's history." - Kirkus

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.

Chapter 1

I know that I'm with God.

He's with me in the darkness. He's close to me.

Not real close.

But close enough I know He's there.

Somewhere.

I can feel Him—so I know He must be.


It was Him that brought me here.

At least, I think He did. Only it ain't what I was expecting.

I never thought it'd be dark here—but it is. It's real dark. Pitchdark.And it can't be nighttime 'cause there's birds singing. There's ablackbird and a sparrow. There's all sorts. And them birds don't singat night.

'Cept maybe they do in heaven. Maybe they sing here all the time.


If I shift my head, it hurts me inside and out. So I don't try to move.I stay as still as I can.


It's kinda damp here in the darkness. I got it up inside my nose. Amusky smell. Like fur. Like rabbit. Yeah, maybe it's like a rabbit.And there's another smell, a whiff of old shoes, like when youwear 'em for too long after they get wet. ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

My Name is Not Friday feels necessary. Walter has crafted a wonderfully moving young adult novel that deserves mentioning alongside M. T. Anderson’s recent classic Octavian Nothing books.   (Reviewed by Bradley Sides).

Full Review (684 words).

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Media Reviews

School Library Journal
Starred Review. Pair this lyrically written historical novel with the informational text Stolen into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man by Judith Fradin (National Geographic, 2013) or Northup's own Twelve Years a Slave. 12 and up.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Samuel's endearing, immersive narration makes the novel a fascinating and unforgettable account of a brutal and shameful chapter in America's history. A heartbreaking story about family, justice, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Walter masterfully constructs the world of the plantation and presents a large population of complex and distinctive characters, resulting in a rich, thought-provoking, and deeply satisfying book.

Reader Reviews

marianna

i loved this this book
This book is amazing and taught me about slavery. This book has a lot of detail and i love how the author, Jon Walter, explained every tiny part in this book.

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Beyond the Book

Freeborn Black Children Sold Into Slavery

Freedom is a wonderful thing. It allows us choices in where we go and how we live. Without it, our lives would be very different. Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves, was signed in 1863. Just think: it's only been 150 years that freedom has been the law in the United States.

Solomon NorthrupBefore Lincoln's signing there were, of course, freeborn black people; however, their freedom wasn't simple. Some were tricked or stolen into slavery. Many of us are familiar with the true story of Solomon Northup, the free man who was captured and sold into a terrible twelve years of slavery. His story, 12 Years a Slave, was a popular book, and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film.

While the stories ...

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