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Publisher's Summary

Aminata Diallo is the beguiling heroine of Lawrence Hill's Someone Knows My Name. In it, Hill exquisitely imagines the tale of an 18th-century woman's life, spanning six decades and three continents. The fascinating story that Hill tells is a work of the soul and the imagination. Aminata is a character who will stir listeners, from her kidnapping from Africa through her journeys back and forth across the ocean. Enslaved on a South Carolina plantation, Aminata works in the indigo fields and as a mid­wife. When she is bought by an entrepreneur from Charleston, she is torn from friends and family. The chaos of the Revolutionary War allows her to escape.
In British-held Manhattan, she helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for wartime service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. During her travels in Canada, Sierra Leone, and England, Aminata strives for her freedom and that of her people - even when it comes at a price.
In this captivating novel, Hill portrays one woman's remarkable spirit and strength in the face of adversity, and he brings to life crucial and little-known chapters in world history.
©2007 Lawrence Hill (P)2007 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"Stunning, wrenching and inspiring....Hill's book is a harrowing, breathtaking tour de force." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ariela on 10-14-09

Rich in history and moral messages

Aminata Diallo was a survivor. As I read through this book, I could not help notice how similar in character and circumstance the survivors of the slave trade had with the survivors of the holocaust. Being the daughter of holocaust survivors and hearing one horror story after the next, the story of Aminata had a familiar ring to it. Her abduction from her African village as a child, enduring the tortures of her march to the ship, the panic of the unknown, the branding, the living conditions these people were forced to endure, the loss of dignity, of family, dehumanizing of spirit and soul, and the strong instinct to survive. Aminata had the qualities, circumstance and luck needed to get through each step of her calamitous life. She was a woman of strength and intelligence with incredible hope who would do whatever she had to in order to move on. Through her journey of being sold as a slave to a detestable owner on an indigo plantation, to her reselling to another man, Solomon Lindo. Her journey takes her from Africa to South Carolina to New York (Canvas town) where she took part in the documentation of The Book of Negroes, writing down names and descriptions of black loyalists who served the British. She eventually journeys to Nova Scotia, then Sierra Leone (Freetown) and finally ends her journey in England where the abolitionists ask her to write her story and that is where the story starts and ends. Lawrence Hill writes a fiction tale rich in historical facts. This book was a real education and eye opener. It really made me think how far we have come to have an African-American president today, and how far we still have to go in the name of freedom and respect for all mankind.

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28 of 28 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By fromm-mom on 02-11-09

Book of Negroes

My friend in Toronto told me I must read this book. So, I looked for the title it goes by in Canada, The Book of Negroes. I couldn't find it at first and then as I was about to order it from a Canadian bookseller, I noticed that the cover was the same as a book here called Someone Knows My Name.
My detective work finished, I can now say that this book is as good as my friend said, even better. The reader follows Aminata Diallo from her kidnapping in Africa, at age eleven, to her enslavement in South Carolina, then on to New York, Nova Scotia, and eventually London. The narrator, Adenrele Ojo, is fabulous and truly brings the story to life.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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