Mari Jo's Reviews > Elijah of Buxton

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

it was amazing
Read in September, 2011

A wonderful book based on the historical 1849 Buxton Settlement, in Ontario, Canada where African-American slaves could live free, thanks to the mission of the Elgin Settlement founded by Reverend William King. From the color cover of Elijah smiling, the book invites you to read it. The first person narrator is young Elijah, whose curious nature and zeal for life makes a delightful storyteller. The author, Christopher Paul Curtis, uses dialect typical of the freed slaves, which the reader becomes more familiar with and easier to read after a few chapters. Each chapter lends itself to reading, silent or aloud, due to the tone and use of humor interspersed with serious social problems, clever chapter names, drama,engaging characters, historical facts and events, mystery, murder, sadness, happiness, and jubilation of more slaves escaping to freedom. The mistreatment of slaves,whipping, beating, verbal harassment, and the use of the "n" word make for many powerful moments in the book; I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it for libraries and classroom in school, and of course a great addition to multi-cultural classrooms. The novel would make a great team project as part of a social studies/language arts unit on African-Americans, the Civil War, or for Black History Month. As the author writes in his epilogue,"Buxton is an inspiration...and deserves to be much more recognized."

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