This year, I seem to be really enjoying a shortlist challenge and, this time, it is the Yoto Carnegie Medal Shortlist.
Miss W sent me a copy of ‘Cane Warriors’, so I knew it had to be the first book that I chose to read from the shortlist. And, of course, with the day job being all about history, I guess it was an obvious place to start.
I absolutely devoured this book and hope that so many young adults will read it. There are so many lessons amongst its pages – and not just the history lessons.
Moa is fourteen years old, and all he has ever known is life on the plantation; a life that has consumed him, his mother, his father, his friends and, soon, his younger sister, too. However, he understands that this is not the only way that life has to be and, maybe, there is a way to fight for their freedom and their rights. This leads to Moa becoming a Cane Warrior, fighting for the freedom of the enslaved people on the island of Jamaica – however difficult the challenges he will face will be.
This novel follows the true story of Tacky’s War in Jamaica in 1760, and really brings the events to life for the reader. Especially from the point of view of a young adult character.
This is a book that I really hope so many people will pick up and read, because it’s a really significant story for all readers, and will certainly leave you with a desire to find out more about such significant events.