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My Name Is Not Angelica

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  666 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
The planter who buys you will put you to work in his household or in the sugar-cane fields. In the fields, under the hot sun, slaves don't last long, perhaps a year. So show your white teeth, Raisha, smile a lot, and don't say anything unless you're asked.

Snatched from her home in Africa, sixteen-year-old Raisha begins her new life on the island of St. John's as a slave on
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Yearling (first published 1989)
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My Name Is Resolute by Nancy E. TurnerMy Name Is Memory by Ann BrasharesMy Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim PotokMy Name is Mary Sutter by Robin OliveiraMy Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson
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11th out of 61 books — 7 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,222)
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Jan 04, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
a great book based on the real life slave revolt on St. John's Island. sensitive and mature portrayal of slavery told through a young girl's eyes. Angelica and her fellow slaves have intellegence and plans. the ending is a shocking, moving and powerful anti-slavery statement.
Rachel Parker
Jul 15, 2010 Rachel Parker rated it really liked it
This book is about a 16 year old girl named Raisha. She is the daughter of the leader of her African tribe and promised to marry Konje. However, she and a group of her people are captured and taken from her home and sold into slavery on the island of St. John. She goes to work as a house servent on Jost van Prok's plantation. There are some slaves who have runaway to Mary Point. They are planning a revolt. Konje decides that he cannot take being a slave any longer and runs away to join up with t ...more
Sep 27, 2016 Christina rated it it was ok
We are currently spending a month in St. John (USVI), so when I found this book in the library, I was very excited! When I was a kid I read both Island of the Blue Dolphins and Zia (both by Scott O'Dell) and liked both of them -- I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins! My Name Is Not Angelica is about the slave rebellion on St. John in 1733-34, told from the point of view of a house slave named Raisha, renamed Angelica by her owners. I was planning to read the book with the kids so we could talk ab ...more
Guadalupe Ramirez
May 10, 2015 Guadalupe Ramirez rated it did not like it
Shelves: spring-2015
I did not enjoy this book at all, and I was truly expecting to. I have always been upset at the historical portrayal of the end of slavery- Abraham Lincoln as the hero to the omission of the role of slave rebellions.

I was hoping this book would fill in the blanks.

The characters were empty, the dialogue was weak, and the action was unimpressive.

I also was disappointed that the author didn't choose a successful rebellion, but instead one that ends in the characters "escape" through suicide.

I wo
Julie Decker
Jul 28, 2014 Julie Decker rated it did not like it
Raisha was kidnapped from Africa and brought to the United States as a slave. She is an attractive girl and considered suitable for housework, which is not as physically demanding, so other slaves encourage her to milk her fortune and make the best of it so she doesn't get sent to work in the fields. But Raisha can't stand seeing her people enslaved and suffering, even if she herself "merely" has to deal with the indignities of house slavery, so she must gather her courage to participate in a sl ...more
Heidi Grether
Nov 02, 2015 Heidi Grether rated it liked it
Shelves: engl-420

This book centers around the abduction of Raisha and her family from Africa to the Dutch Islands to be sold as slaves. Raisha is an observer of the horrors of slave life while she is a "body slave" and assists her mistress at the main house. Eventually, Raisha runs away to Mary Point where many slaves have gone to be free. She reunites with her fiance, gets married, becomes pregnant, and then refuses to end her life with her husband when Mary Point is under attack. This was a q
May 25, 2008 K rated it liked it
This book is very interesting to read. I read it when I was around 12 and it was difficult to read because it's a very emotional book. That being said, I think that's why the book works--it's emotional.
Oct 21, 2007 Rebekah rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Scott O'Dell has a habit of writing historical pieces about strong women. I always wondered why he chose to look through that lens.
Bish Denham
Jun 24, 2012 Bish Denham rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is my review that I wrote back when I read it in 1991: It is story about the slave revolt on St. John, USVI, in 1733.

The main character is a young girl name Raisha betrothed to Konja, one of the "supposed" main instigators of the revolt. Both were brought over from Africa at the same time. Both are fictitious characters.

I was rather disappointed in the "artistic" licences that O'Dell took in telling this story. He opted to go with the fictional and legendary end of the slave revolt with the
Bobby Parker
Jul 20, 2010 Bobby Parker rated it liked it
Shelves: last-10-books
This is a story about a young African girl named Raisha who gets taken from her tribe and thrown onto a slave ship known as God's Adventure. The sixth month journey is long but Raisha gets in the favors of the captain and is treated much better than the other slaves. She even learns some Danish. Finally the ship makes it to Raisha's new destination and home on the Island of Saint John. Her master's wife thinks Raisha has a beautiful smile, changes her name to Angelica and even promises her to ge ...more
I had never heard of the St. John's slave revolt in 1733. The book tells the story of Raisha, the daughter of a lesser Barato chief, beginning in Africa. The first chapter tells of the events leading to their being sold into slavery, and pictures her life of freedom. The horrors of the voyage and the terror of being sold are brought to life. Cruelty was apparently common, and the life of the slaves was held in small regard. Raisha was betrothed to a chief in her former life in Africa, and they a ...more
Books Kids Like
Oct 06, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it it was amazing
Shelves: odell-scott
Sixteen-year-old Raisha and her betrothed, Konje, are sold into slavery by Agaja, the king of a neighboring tribe. Put on a slave ship, they endure the hardships of the sea passage and land on the Caribbean island of St. John. When Jost Van Prok, a plantation owner, buys Raisha and Konje, he gives Raisha the Christian name of Angelica. Prok and the other slave owners rule their plantations with cruelty and torture, so, many slaves begin running away. They gather in isolated parts of the island a ...more
May 22, 2013 Dacia rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
This book took a while for me to get in to, but once I got to the middle it was better. Each chapter left me hanging, and I had to keep going to see what happened. :) The chapters were short, and the book overall was a short easy read. I enjoyed it until the end. The ending was horrible. It was so abrupt and anti-climatic.

I would recommend this book to young adults ages 12-14. Angelica, the main character, is not much older than that, and I honestly don't think it would keep the attention of ol
Jenny Perron
Apr 29, 2013 Jenny Perron rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
The title is what first attracted me to this book. After looking at the cover, however, I was contemplating putting it back; then I saw the author. I’ve heard of Scott O’Dell, as my mother is a middle school language art’s teacher and has her classes read Sing Down the Moon every year. I’m glad that I decided to hold on to the book and give it a chance. I enjoyed following the account of Raisha, and I was particularly fascinated by the ending of the novel. I really appreciated how O’Dell looked ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Komugi rated it liked it
“My name is not Angelica” is a book about a 16 year old girl called Raisha who smiled a lot, and was adored by many people, being a slave at an island called St. John, on Jost van Prok’s plantation in 1733. Even though she was treated like she was not worth living, she realized other slaves have worse experiences. And she couldn’t just pretend to not see anything. So she risked her life and decided to escape with them to get freedom.

As soon as I started reading this book, I realized Raisha and I
Miss Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vannessa Anderson
Dec 21, 2012 Vannessa Anderson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
King Konje and his highest council was invited to a feast by a king from another island. It was a trick to get Konje and his council there so they could be kidnapped and sold as slaves.

My Name Is Not Angelica tells the story of how Africans were treated aboard the slave ships, how they were auctioned and bought, and how they came about their slaves names.

Anyone who has the courage to learn more about the truth of slavery and the harsh treatment the slaves had to endure should not only read My
May 13, 2013 Brittanee rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng356
I wanted to read this book because i am very interested in culture and history. I havent read much about the black slaves so I thought this would be educational and a good story. To be honest, I did not like this book until the very last page. Then I did like it. I was sad and worried the whole time and I did not expect the ending that came but it made the story great.

I would recommend this book to YA's and to anyone because it is informational and a good story. I even think pre-teens could read
Dec 28, 2015 Lindsey rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit, historical
I read this as a child in my tiny Catholic school library. I was coming over here to review this book as great, even though I don't remember a lot. Then I saw some reviews from people who were...I suppose, upset by it as children? And it sort of came back to me, how the story progressed, how it ended. It was really sad. I do wonder why he focussed so much on strong women in rough situations. One one hand I really respect that I had the chance to read so many stories as a child of people, women o ...more
Oct 09, 2014 Smile rated it it was ok
This was the first book that I've ever read about slavery and the mistreatment of African slaves. As I was young and not familiar with prejudice and racism, it was very difficult for me to read.
Helen Elgin
Feb 27, 2014 Helen Elgin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was ten or eleven when I read this and still remember the part where she has to do the white girl's hair for the first time.
May 08, 2010 Catherine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
I read this as a companion to The Help for a task in my quarterly book challenge that asked us to read and adult book and a children's (but not YA) book on the same topic and compare which handled it better. I was stumped but someone else in the group used this comparison so I totally copied it! Though they are not quite the same topic - this book deals with slaves in the 1800's and The Help is about African-American household employees in the 1960's, but I did see some parallels in their situat ...more
Christina (Boupie)
Yet another O'Dell book that does a great job of bring the past to life. Raisha is an extremely likable character who makes the whole world of slavery in the West Indies more approachable for children. It doesn't sound good in anyway but she keeps it from being so graphic as to give nightmares (imho, I read this as a child and again now and it did not give me nightmares either way but made me think slavery was a horrible thing). The fact that this story is based on historical events makes this a ...more
Alicia Fox
Sep 07, 2015 Alicia Fox rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
There is far too much youth fiction I missed out on as a kid.
May 23, 2012 Caren rated it really liked it

The story takes place in St Thomas and St Johns islands which are run by the Dutch. They make rum but have been in a drought. The slaves are running away and planning the revolts.
Good HF. I didn't know much of tho history. Descriptive on some of the torture methods known.
In the end, the French come, but rather than fight or surrender, the majority of the slaves chose to jump off the cliffs to the oceans to their deaths,
Angelica , who was with child chose not to. The French captain took her, and
Lily Hillbilly
Sep 01, 2015 Lily Hillbilly rated it liked it

it was a good book but i HATED the end
Aug 08, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
This is a slim book, and therefore a lot of character development and motivation is non-existent. However, the plot moves very quickly as O'Dell illustrates a fictionalized account of the West Indies slave revolt of 1733. It is excellent for illustrating the attitudes and realities of slavery on the sugar plantations, though pre-reading is necessary before handing to children (I wouldn't recommend for most children under 12). The ending is haunting and could be potentially upsetting, though the ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Alexi rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ho Thien
Jul 27, 2014 Ho Thien rated it it was amazing
My child hood and adult average scores are what is indicated above. I understand this book if for younger audiences, even so, some development of character and plot were left by the wayside. I've not seen this happen in some of his other books. I loved O'Dell when I was a child and devoured all of his books, he was one writer that took dark subjects and talked about them, and we still don't see many books that do this for such younger readers.
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Scott O'Dell (May 23, 1898 – October 16, 1989) was an American children's author who wrote 26 novels for youngsters, along with three adult novels and four nonfiction books. He was most famously the author of the children's novel Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), which won the 1961 Newbery Medal as well as a number of other awards. Other award winning books by O'Dell include The King's Fifth (19 ...more
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