Journey Back to Freedom: The Olaudah Equiano Story

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Olaudah is just 11 years old when he is kidnapped from his lovely family in Essaka, Africa in 1745, sold into brutal slavery and renamed Gustavus. This is the story of how he grew up, serving several masters at sea, becoming an experienced sailor and living all over the world including England’s multicultural capital London, where he eventually returned as a free man.

It’s a really exciting tale of daring adventures and incredible spirit, of bravery, of the unimaginable cruelty and injustice of slavery and also moments of kindness, particularly from the aunts of one of Olaudah’s owners who adored him and paid for his education.

Olaudah gets to have many fascinating conversations in the book which explore what it is like to be owned, and also how ‘owning’ a person affects people and is so truly dreadful even if the owners act fairly kindly.

The basic facts of this story are true, as author Catherine Johnson explains in the excellent afterword section of the book. So this is a chance to find out about a remarkable man who, after his return to London as a free man, played a central role in abolishing slavery. He wrote and published his autobiography, which was a bestseller and had to be reprinted nine times in his lifetime. 

This book is the most fascinating introduction to finding out more about such an important figure from British history. It’s also a riveting and exciting read.

This book is published by dyslexic-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke. It’s also a great book for young people who need an easier reading level combined with rich subject matter that works for teenagers (sometimes called high/low). There is nothing in this book which is unsuitable for readers aged 9 plus but it does work for older children too. Catherine Johnson is really the queen of historical fiction for young people and this book is another fantastic one to add to the long list.

Dim ond 11 oed ydy Olaudah pan mae’n cael ei herwgipio a’i werthu i ddod yn gaethwas. Wedi’i gosod yn y 1700au, dyma stori wir am sut i Olaudah dyfu i fyny, gan ddod yn forwr profiadol a byw ar hyd a lled y byd, gan gynnwys Llundain, prifddinas amlddiwylliannol Lloegr, lle dychwelodd ymhen yr hir a’r hwyr fel dyn rhydd.

Mae’n stori hynod gyffrous am anturiaethau hyf ac ysbryd hynod, am ddewrder, am y creulondeb anhygoel ac am anghyfiawnder caethwasiaeth.

Mae’r llyfr hwn yn gyflwyniad cyfareddol iawn i gael gwybod mwy am gymeriad mor bwysig o hanes Prydain. Mae hefyd yn llyfr gafaelgar a chyffrous i’w ddarllen.


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