This story is a sequel to The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts: Being an Absolutely Accurate Autobiographical Account of My Follies, Fortune, and Fate. Side note- is that the longest title you’ve ever seen? Me too. Please read that book first, but Avi gives you a quick synopsis at the start of the book in case you can’t get your hands on it. I reviewed it here.
This book starts right where the last left off and Oliver is about to be sent to the colonies for the crime of stealing. Many of the other characters sentenced to be slaves in the colonies committed crimes that would result in community service today. The age of the convicts ranges from 6-80! Most (like Oliver) broke the law purely out of survival instincts. But, such is the reality of the 1700s. England needed labor in the Colonies, and this was an excellent way to supply the farmers with the workforce they needed.
I like this series of historical fiction; it sounds like you are reading dinkens if his language was modernized. It is a cold, cruel world where mistakes can be deadly and it was every man for himself.
Like all of Avi’s books this immerses you in what it must have been like to live at that time. It isn’t sensationalized but it is an honest look into societal norms. This is the kind of books where it takes me forever to read it aloud, because we keep stopping to discuss the events, or to Google a map or law. So, really the best kind of read aloud.
Homeschool Note: I’m adding both books on to my historical fiction list for American History. I was planning on an American centered year in 9th grade, but have just started tweaking the plan so that we can move it up to next Fall. I think it’ll fit better and free up more time in high school for something else. I’ll work on my book list for that and get it up on my Amazon page soon.
Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from the publisher without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.