Title: Nat Turner
Author: Kyle Baker
Publisher: Abrams, June 2008
Summary: This stunning graphic novel tells the story of the deadly slave rebellion led by the infamous Nat Turner in 1830s Virginia. Author/Illustrator Kyle Baker uses the text of Turner’s actual confession to illuminate the horrors endured during the slave crossing, and the violence of life for plantation slaves. Young Nat, an intelligent and resourceful boy, learns to read and write. In reading the Bible, Nat decides that he, like Moses, must lead his enslaved people out of bondage. The rest, as they say, is history.
To paraphrase Baker, the story of Nat Turner is intriuging because while it was always mentioned in history text books, there were never really a lot of details given about why the slave rebellion had taken place. Why is something important enough to mention, but not important enough to describe at length? With Nat Turner, Kyle Baker illuminates the man behind the rebellion without judging him a hero or a villain.
Who will like this book: People who are interested in the ‘secret stories’ of American history. Fans of heavily illustrated graphic novels. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
If you like this, try this: A People’s History of American Empire by Howard Zinn. The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian