Queen of Freedom
by Catherine Johnson
1720s Jamaica. Disquiet is spreading amongst the Blue Mountain Maroons. Escaped slaves, the Maroons have been long established, up high in the mountains, self-sufficient in their makeshift village, tending their sorrel and callaloo. And, they have been long endangered by the British military marauders in the towns below. The latest declaration of colonial warfare is about to be launched by Major-General Hunter. But he has underestimated the might of Queen Nanny. Born of the Ashanti people, Nanny leads the Windward Maroons in waves of counter attacks, proving herself an eminently skilled military tacticianin and strategist, with just a dash of Obeah Wisdom. Queen Nanny went on to also lead attacks on slave-owning planters and is credited with freeing over 1000 slaves over 30 years. That her history isn't better known is not just a mindless 'expunging' of history, it is nothing short of immoral. Thank goodness for authors like these.
From one of our very best writers of middle grade historical fiction (and Royal Society of Literature Fellow) -and the author who brought you Freedom (Scholastic 2019)- Catherine Johnson triumphs yet again, doing not just the vital work of bringing Black History to our young people, but also serving up her historical research as fulsome, hearty, enriching storytelling. As award-winning author, Patrice Lawrence, recently said, "I wish Catherine Johnson's novels were around when I was growing up... It would have felt so powerful knowing that we were rebellious, intellectual, resilient and here." Age 8-12, Paperback 117pp