Queen of Freedom


Queen Nanny, as she comes to be known, wants freedom from the oppression and cruelty of the English Redcoats. She sees how they treat the African peoples they gather and sell at the markets. Thereafter, these people become slaves on the Jamaican sugar plantations. They lose their identity, opportunity and hope.

Should slaves escape, Nanny seeks to ensure they are safe through creating the Maroons, a community that grows food and raises livestock. They seem to follow their Obeah practices to guide their beliefs and movements. Thereafter, they plan traps for the Redcoats who hunt them down.

Catherine Johnson brings the story of the Queen of Freedom to brilliant life in this historical biography. Queen Nanny’s determination, courage and efforts make her a major historical figure in Jamaica, one who merits our knowledge and respect. Bookwagon is proud to introduce this title from Pushkin’s True Adventures’ series.


Queen of Freedom

Defending Jamaica

True Adventures

Catherine Johnson

(Pushkin Children’s)

Nanny is Queen of Freedom,  determined to defy the English Redcoats who are round up slaves for  sugar plantations. Thereafter she plans to rescue them, and defy the troops who attack the enclave that she and others have built. Somehow, she’s assumed a reputation as a witch. The Obeah practices she believes in seem to give her power. Might it be that Nanny can capture bullets? It seems as though she’s guided by visions! Certainly she’s aware of the warnings from Ophelia who says she can see shadows.
However, Queen Nanny, as she comes to be known, burns with rage at the injustice of what she sees happening to people brought from Africa. Furthermore she has witnessed the cruelty first hand, through the brutal murder of Yam, to the slaves she sees shackled in the market. Can she, leader of the Maroons, outwit the Redcoats? Furthermore, can she withstand their assault and bitter bargaining?
Queen of Freedom is Catherine Johnson’s biography of Queen Nanny of the Maroons, a Jamaican freedom fighter from the eighteenth century who lives on in Caribbean history. Her story is courageous, fierce and defiant, in the face of prejudiced oppression and exploitation. Bookwagon recommends this necessary biography highly to older readers.


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