Jani's Reviews > Jefferson's Sons

Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
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's review
Mar 04, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 04 to 11, 2012

This is a fascinating work of historical fiction, told from the perspectives of three young men who grew up as slaves at Monticello, Two of these children are the sons of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. The author has used her imagination to fill in some of history's blanks in a very believable way - I admire her skill at forming a cohesive narrative using known historical facts, while carefully avoiding scenarios that could not have been true.

No book is likely to be able to explain the inexplicable, namely, how could the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence have also been the owner, and father, of slaves? This story focuses less on Jefferson than on his children and their relationships with their mother and their friends and other family members at Monticello, Even if you're not that interested in Jefferson and just want a book that will help children to understand what life in slavery might have been like, this book would be a great choice. All of the unanswerable questions are raised in a natural way, through the voices of children, and even in their inability to answer, we are shown the strength of people who learn to carry on, under the gravest of injustices.

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