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Freedom Business

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  20 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The true narrative of a slave from Africa, crafted in verse by Marilyn Nelson. Born an African prince, Broteer Furro was captured by slave traders at age six. As he stepped onto a cargo ship, the vessel's steward purchased the boy and gave him a new name: Venture. He landed in Rhode Island and worked through a lifetime of slavery to buy not only his own freedom but the ...more
Hardcover, 72 pages
Published 2008 by Wordsong (first published June 28th 2006)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I think Marilyn Nelson has herself another Coretta Scott King winner here, though I admit I found the narrative part taken from Venture Smith's autobiography to be more interesting than her poetry. Nevertheless, she turns a nice phrase here and there--the poem "Meg" is absolutely beautiful, "Farm Garden" bursts with pride, "A Voyage by Sea" oozes despair. I must read more about this interesting man. This should win a Printz Award too next year!
Jun 13, 2009 Tara rated it it was ok
This was recommended at a YA literature workshop I went to as a great non-fiction selection. First I should preface this review with the fact that I'm not a big fan of non-fiction, and if I wasn't trying to bulk up my arsenal of recommendations for when I (hopefully) start teaching, I would not have picked up this book. So my review is likely at least somewhat tainted with my general ambivalence towards non-fiction.

With that said, I think this is really historical fiction. The slave narrative is
Anne Broyles
Mar 02, 2009 Anne Broyles rated it really liked it
I so admire Wordsong history/poem books, which are beautifully rendered, emotionally-compelling ways to delve into real-life events. Marilyn Nelson is such a fine poet. Some of my favorite lines from Venture's story:

Yes, everything I own is dearly bought,
but gratitude is a never-emptying cup,
my life equal measures pain and windfall.
Feb 11, 2016 Gloria rated it liked it
Shelves: history, poetry, slavery
This is amazing stuff. It's not always easy for me to read poetry, but I truly appreciated this. The left hand page is the memoirs of a slave and the right hand page is poetry by Nelson that interprets the memoir.
Feb 16, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
To Venture Smith's Progeny

Say, can you see?
Freedom ain't free.
Body costly
To be redeemed
From slavery.

by Paul Hsu 2-16-16
Jun 26, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing
What a thrill to see Marilyn Nelson give a riveting reading at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in DC in March 2012. This book is gorgeous, heart-breaking, masterful.
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Marilyn Nelson is the author of many acclaimed books for young people and adults, including CARVER: A LIFE IN POEMS, a Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and A WREATH FOR EMMETT TILL, a Printz Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She also translated THE LADDER, a picture book by Halfdan Rasmussen. She lives in East Haddam, Connecticut.

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