Cy in Chains

David L. Dudley. Clarion, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-547-91068-0
In 1890s Georgia, slavery has ended in theory but not in reality. When 13-year-old Cy Williams attempts to save his abusive, alcoholic plantation master’s runaway son, Travis, and the boy drowns, Cy is blamed. Without a trial, he’s sentenced indefinitely to work on a chain gang: “He’d messed in the white man’s business, and just as his father had warned, he was in bad trouble now—the worst trouble of his life.” For more than three years, Cy endures unlivable conditions and constant cruelty. His anger grows and hope dwindles each day his father doesn’t come to his rescue. While some of the men support one another, Cy isolates himself and hangs onto his guilt over Travis’s death; he has to regain confidence in his strength and others after he sets his mind on an escape. Full of emotionally charged depictions of brutality, physical abuse, and prejudice, Dudley’s (Caleb’s Wars) third historical novel is a tough and painful read. Dudley’s use of dialect helps immerse readers in the injustice of Cy’s story, as he risks everything in the name of freedom. Ages 14–up. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 12/17/2013
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-547-91069-7
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