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African Town : inspired by the true story of the last American slave ship  Cover Image Book Book

African Town : inspired by the true story of the last American slave ship / Irene Latham & Charles Waters ; introduction by Joycelyn M. Davis.

Latham, Irene, (author.). Waters, Charles, 1973- (author.). Davis, Joycelyn M., (writer of introduction.).

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593322888
  • ISBN: 0593322886
  • ISBN: 9780593322901
  • ISBN: 0593322908
  • Physical Description: 438 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2022.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 433-435).
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction / by Joycelyn M. Davis -- Home is where the story is -- Dreams and schemes -- Life interrupted -- Ouidah -- Voyage to America -- Mobile swamplands -- Enslaved -- When war comes to town -- The truth about freedom -- African Town -- Life is but a dream -- Author's note -- Voices -- More about the characters -- Africatown today -- Selected time line -- Glossary -- Poetry forms/styles -- Learn more about the shipmates, the Clotilda, and African Town.
Summary, etc.:
Chronicles the story of the last Africans brought illegally to the United States on the Clotilda in 1860.
1859. The transatlantic slave trade has been banned for more than fifty years, and the South is facing the threat of a civil war. Timothy Maeher resents the government interference in his right to make a living. Making a bet that he can smuggle enslaved Africans into the United States without being caught, he commissions the Clotilda, and brings back 110 African captives. Among them are Abilè, Gumpa, Kêhounco, Kossola, and Kupolee, who survive the voyage and arrive in Alabama still clinging to the hope of one day returning home. -- adapted from jacket
In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they'd been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.
Target Audience Note:
Ages 14-18. G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Grades 9-12. G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Awards Note:
Nutmeg Award Nominee, Middle School (Teen), 2025.
Winner of the 2023 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.
Subject: Africatown (Ala.) > History > 19th century > Fiction.
Novels in verse.
Black people > Africa > Fiction.
Africa > Fiction.
Clotilda (Ship) > Fiction.
Slave trade > Fiction.
Novels in verse.
Black people > Africa > Fiction.
Africa > Fiction.
Clotilda (Ship) > Fiction.
Slave trade > Fiction.
Genre: Young adult fiction.
Novels in verse.
Historical fiction.

Available copies

  • 56 of 72 copies available at Bibliomation.


  • 1 current hold with 72 total copies.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Babcock Library - Ashford YA F Lat (Text) 33110150606794 Young Adult Fiction Available -
Beacon Falls Public Library YA FIC LAT (Text) 33120155766295 Young Adult Fiction Available -
Beardsley Branch - Bridgeport YA LATHAM (Text) 34000151457801 Young Adult Fiction Available -
Bethel Public Library TEEN LATHAM (Text) 34030150548045 Teen Fiction Available -
Black Rock Branch - Bridgeport J On Order (Text) acq1338145 Acquisitions On order -
Bolton High School FIC LAT (Text) 34062150685048 Fiction Available -
Brookfield Library TEEN F/LATHAM (Text) 34029150041365 Teen Fiction Available -
Burnham Library - Bridgewater TEEN FIC LATHAM (Text) 36937000673773 Teen Nutmeg Available -
Burroughs-Saden Main - Bridgeport J LATHAM (Text) 34000151541364 Juvenile Fiction In process -
C.H. Booth Library - Newtown YA FIC LAT (Text) 34014150063445 Young Adult Fiction Available -

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