‘Freedom’ is Nathaniel’s purpose. Something dies in him when his mother and baby sister are sold by his slave owners. Mr Thomas warns him that running away will only result in beating or maiming. Perhaps a journey to England with their slave master will be Nathaniel’s opportunity?

Hearing about ‘Zong’ a slave ship horror, Nathaniel realises the truth about England. It will not be the land of ‘freedom’ he’d pinned his hopes upon. Slavery thrives. How can Nathaniel free himself of the Barrett family? Will the world continue to treat people unequally, and deny truths?

Catherine Johnson has built a strong story around a young boy caught in the lies, cruelty and excesses of the slave trade. Readers are drawn into Nathaniel’s need for ‘Freedom‘ while learning about real historical figures and incidents. ‘Freedom‘ is urgent and necessary reading. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this title.



Catherine Johnson


Does slavery exist in England? Could it be that Nathaniel is in luck when charged with caring for pineapples en route to that country? Yet aboard ship, Nathaniel learns about the slave ship ‘Zong’. Thereafter, he is inflamed by his drive for ‘Freedom‘.
Catherine Johnson has created a moving, strong story around Nathaniel, through which readers encounter real incidents and people from a shameful age.

Winner of the Little Rebels Award, 2019


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