Anderson, M.T. 2008. THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING TRAITOR TO THE NATION; THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763729502 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]
Octavian Nothing’s saga continues as the Revolutionary War begins. Octavian and Dr. Trefusis are under a death sentence as they flee to Boston, but even there they are not safe. He joins the orchestra as a violinist but that is just a short-lived respite from fighting and danger. When Lord Dunmore issues a proclamation promising freedom for “all indentured Servants, Negroes, or others” who join “His Majesty’s Troops” and fight against the “Rebels,” Octavian decides that this is his only choice. The resulting narrative of war, illness, rogues, daring escapades, and personal battles ends with a new chance for Octavian and the hope for a volume three of the saga.
While any sequel is usually best appreciated when the first volume has been read, Anderson gives a complete synopsis of the first volume so this volume stands on its own. With more action than volume I, the stories of battles and the politics of the Revolutionary War make THE KINGDOM OF THE WAVES a much friendlier read.
This book would be a perfect literary accompaniment for a high school unit on the Revolutionary War. Written in the style and language of the time and with a perspective of history that is usually not taught in the classroom or found in the textbook, it extends and personalizes a period of history. The book would also work for study of Black history or for Black History Month. The fictionalized account of how Negroes, free and slave, were used by both sides of the conflict is a story worth recounting.
Other books about the struggle of slaves during the Revolutionary War:
Anderson, Laurie Halse. CHAINS. ISBN 9781416905851
Anderson, M.T. THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING TRAITOR TO THE
NATION: THE POX PARTY. ISBN 9780763624026
By Janet Hilbun