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Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  278 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
An 1800 insurrection planned by a literate slave known as "Prosser’s Gabriel" inspires a historical novel following one extraordinary man’s life.

In a time of post-Revolutionary fervor in Richmond, Virginia, an imposing twenty-four-year-old slave named Gabriel, known for his courage and intellect, plotted a rebellion involving thousands of African- American freedom seekers
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Candlewick Press (first published September 1st 2012)
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Saleh MoonWalker
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
داستان تلخیه راجع به امید به آزادی و تلاش نافرجام یک برده برای فرار از جزیره Saint Domingue. داستان بر اساس حوادث واقعی در سال 1700 میلادی نوشته که به شرح زندگی یک برده در اون زمان می پردازه. نثر ساده ای داره و داستان سیر غیر خطی رو طی میکنه و متن هم سریع جلو میره.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you like historical fiction, then you should read Come August, Come Freedom, a story set in Richmond, Virginia in a time of post-Revolutionary fervor.

With expertise, a poetic writing style and extensive primary source documents, the author uses factual historical events to tell the story of a planned but unsuccessful freedom seekers' insurrection led by Gabriel, an imposing and literate 24 year old African-American slave. She reimagines his childhood and his private life and gives shape and l
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
In 1800, in Richmond, Virginia, a twenty-four-year-old literate slave known as Prosser’s Gabriel planned an insurrection involving thousands of African-Americans freedom seekers. The rebellion did not succeed – a mixture of bad weather and betrayal prevented the revolt from even starting – and Gabriel, as well as a few of his co-conspirators, was executed. Come August, Come Freedom was inspired by this moment in history and is a reimagining of Gabriel’s early life as well as his motivations base ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This beautiful but tragic story is based on actual events relating to the slave Gabriel, who had the temerity, in 18th Century Virginia, to dream of freedom.

The author imagines Gabriel’s interior life, based on what is known about his actual circumstances. Born into slavery on a tobacco plantation in 1776, Gabriel was taught to read and write. As he grew up and acquired the skills of a blacksmith, he was also hired out to Richmond to bring in more money for his master. There he interacted with f
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Author: Gigi Amateau
Published By: Candlewick Press
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Rating: 4


"Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel was really some read for me. As I continued my read I wondered if I could make it through it and I did. This author did a wonderful job with this storyline. I will say she did a great job with all the characters that really added much to "Come August, Come Freedom. I felt that this w
Patricia Smith
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I found myself completely immersed in the time period of Revolutionary War America and completely drawn in by all the characters and by the charismatic Gabriel in particular. In a book that could be in danger of instructing us what to think, Gigi Amateau wisely and beautifully lets Gabriel's story reveal itself via her characters. COME AUGUST, COME FREEDOM is a compelling read and a gripping story about an important moment in American and Virginian history. In addition -- it's ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone!
I love this book for so many reasons: I've always been interested in the revolutionary time period, and the author does a masterful job of slipping you right down in that place in history. The characters really come alive; I fell in love with Gabriel, and loved that he was a well educated slave with fire in his belly. Highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical books that take you far back in time but drive right to the heart, since the heart is timeless.
Susann Cokal
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A wonderful book about a significant and almost legendary event in American history. Amateau takes legend back into truth and shows us the people at the heart of one of the most significant slave uprisings ever. And she brings the era to life in a way I've seen no other writer do.
RLL220F16_Sheila  Williams
I enjoyed reading this story about freedom, betrayal, and love. Gigi Amateau did a wonderful job articulating the harsh reality of slavery for men, women, and the children. Her words made you vividly imagine the whippings, the grueling plantation work, and the complete disregard for slave's lives.

I enjoyed how the author explored the gift and the curse of being a literate slave. To be able to read and comprehend the world only makes one conscious of what is fundamentally wrong with it. Gabriel
Mary Havens
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Despite the sadness of the story, I really enjoyed getting to know about this slice of American history. I spoiled it by looking for information about Gabriel to confirm the story. It's all true, although little is known about his life prior to the uprising.
Now I want to read more about Toussaint Louverture!
Even though it doesn't say anywhere (or at least the audio book didn't) that this story was sourced from actual documents, the novel lays out the ending parts (trials) as if court documents
Phil Goerner
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this while on book hangover (had just completed the impactful DEVIL's HIGHWAY), so perhaps have rated it low because I enjoyed the other so much. Also, had read HAMILTON earlier this summer.

Starts like a nice story, slavery in Richmond. Relationships etc. Then, moves to some events that lead to the Black Slavery Rebellion in 1800. ( Amateau follows the events that actually happened nicely, adding a bit of story and spice here at there. Nice YA book, bu
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophia F
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not one for historical fiction, so I wasn't sure how long I'd last once I began this book. Surprisingly, I was sucked in after the first few chapters or so.
Amateau draws readers in of all nationalities, of all colors, and all different backgrounds by describing Gabriel's story by creating personal experiences. The reader does not witness these events, it's more like living through it all with the characters.
I think the fact that I like most about this novel is the chronological structure.
Christine Grabowski
I wish I had known when I was listening to this book that Gabriel was a real historical figure. Although most of this story if a fictional imagining of what his early life may have been. I listened to this book on audio and found myself having a hard time paying attention and had to keep rewinding. As with all historical fiction, I enjoyed learning about what life was like... in this case in the late 1700s in the life of a slave. This may have been a book that would have been better to read as t ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Audiobook Sync free audiobooks for their 2018 YA summer program week 8.
This was a short novel about a true black slave rebellion that took place in 1800 Richmond, Virginia. Gabriel was a literate slave with the charisma to bring together freedoms fighters for a revolt. Thwarted by terrible weather and betrayal, the revolt didn't go off as planned, but here Amateau imagines for us more of Gabriel's life, thus bring this history to life.
I somehow kept expecting this to go deeper. Instead, it was exactly what the summary blurb promised without much more depth or feeling. It seems like an interesting historical point, but the humanity and feeling that should come in historical fiction never really surfaced for me. The whole book felt like an introduction, and I was surprised when it ended without the development I expected.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent YA book that was free through Audiobook Sync summer reading program. Reminds us of how long African American slaves fought for their freedom. This book takes place in the 1700's - 1801 mainly in Virginia and the Carolinas.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading for JSD Literature Selection Committee (4 of 5 books for the meeting in May 2017).

3.5 - 4.0 so I'll round up. Historical fiction with authentic original documents scattered throughout. "...a remarkable moment in our past that is little known but should be long remembered."
The Rusty Key
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Jordan B. Nielsen

Recommended for: Ages 13 and Up for frank depictions of the brutality of slavery including physical violence, lynchings and suggestions of rape and sexual abuse.

One Word Summary: Wrenching.

With Come August, Come Freedom, Gigi Amateau delivers a heart rendering piece of historical fiction that breathes life into this true tale in a way that a textbook never could. The story of Gabriel and his slave uprising, while certainly not a fun read, is made
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books, sync
3.5 stars
Alicia Weaver
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
A group of salves yet to rise up against Virginia to fight for their rights.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-gr-challenge, ya
I listened to the audio version, I think it was more powerful than if I had just read it.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
If I want to explore the history behind a book, I generally feel I have just read good historical fiction.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quick read, historical fiction. Based on the true story of Gabriel, a slave in the late 1700's in Virginia, who organized a rebellion against the local slave owners and others who oppressed freedom of Black slaves.

It was surprisingly good - the reader gets drawn in quickly by the story, and you see how the author weaves and fills in areas to the story that cannot be known.
While selecting books to read, I was intrigued to see that this was historical fiction set in 1800 and focusing on a slave revolt in Virginia, drawing inspiration from authentic primary sources to tell a moving story.

As I said, I loved the synopsis for this book and thought it was right up my alley as a student of American history. This wasn't my time period and I had never heard of this particular planned slave rebellion inspired by the Haitian revolution. Unfortunately I had a lot of trouble w
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Gabriel is a slave that becomes an apprentice for a blacksmith. While he is attempting to make and save money, he is unable to purchase his love. Because of this, he plots a slave rebellion which ends up with thousands of participants seeking freedom. While the slave rebellion does not end with the freedom of all, mostly because of weather, Gabriel does give life and passion to many African-Americans. As noted within the title, Gabriel's life is cut short by the gallows, but his life cha
Emily Morris
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
I admit, I do feel guilt over reading about the work of important historical figures and then snubbing it. But I've done it before and here I am doing it again. Gigi Amateau pulls a figure out of history, tells his story, and somehow in the process completely neglects the storyteller's art. This is a book that will probably be defended with passionate cries of "Butbutbut it's history!"

Sorry, but that's not enough for me.

With all due respect to the Black General, this book is completely dry and l
This book follows the early life of Gabriel, an African American slave and blacksmith in Richmond, Virginia. The book spans the years 1777-1800 and culminates with Gabriel's attempt to stage a rebellion against the white slave owners of Richmond. When Gabriel was nine, he was sent away to learn a trade in the city, separated from his family on the plantation. In Richmond, his ideas about freedom took shape as he brushed shoulders with a variety of men. There he also met his future wife, Nanny, a ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not a bad read; written more like free form poetry than a fictional story. There's not always continuous thought and it jumps quickly between times.

Otherwise Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel is an accurate presentation of the depressing reality of slavery and the constant tension between the slaves and their masters.

It's not exactly a heart felt story that uses emotional pull to make a point. It often contains factual content historically speak
Jessica B
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Despite living in central Virginia for the past 14 of my 18 years, I'd never heard of Gabriel. So when I read the description and saw that it was barely over 200 pages, I picked it up at my library when it was being spotlighted for Black History Month.

From the beginning Gabriel's story interested me. His courage and his valiant attempt to fight oppression in 1800 is admirable. However, Gigi Amateau's writing seemed a little basic and safe for such a harsh subject. She wrote her characters well,
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Gigi Amateau was born in northeastern Mississippi and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia, just outside of Richmond. Her first young adult novel, Claiming Georgia Tate (Candlewick Press, 2005), described as “a moving first offering” by School Library Journal, was selected as a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, Voice of Youth Advocates Review Editor’s Choice, and a Book Sense Summer Pic ...more
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“Nanny had thought she might lose the child from her grief. At night when she rolled over in the bed and went to drape her leg across Gabriel’s, finding him gone, the ache in Nanny’s chest moved up to her throat, then down to her womb.” 0 likes
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