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The kingdom on the waves
Teen Fiction ANDERSO
Teen Fiction ANDERSO
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M.T. Anderson’s other books (Thirsty, Burger Wuss, Feed) have all been books for young adults; it makes sense that his newest title is a teen book too. But that Octavian Nothing is different is apparent at first glance. Octavian is a young boy living in Boston on the eve of the Revolutionary War. Raised in isolation by a strange group of philosophers and scientists, Octavian doesn’t understand his place or purpose in the world—until one day when he does, and he is horrified. M.T. Anderson gives us a world and a set of characters that don’t know the outcome of the Colonies’ war with England, and that have some very difficult choices to make. Octavian Nothing forces us to ask a new set of questions about what we thought we knew—questions about history, hypocrisy, and personal choice--that are worth asking whether we took American History last year or last decade. The sequel, Volume II: Kingdom on the Waves, was published in 2008.
posted May 18, 2009 at 1:27PM
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation is a novel in two volumes that explores the American Revolution from a new point-of-view: that of an African American boy. When the founding fathers declared independence from British rule, they did so in the name of freedom from oppression. This is certainly something of a hypocrisy when you consider that the grand notion of freedom did not extend to the large population of African slaves who also called America their home. Octavian is a young boy living in Boston on the eve of the revolution. Raised in near-isolation by a strange group of philosophers and scientists, Octavian receives a classical education of the finest order—and then uncovers a devastating truth. In Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves, Octavian, his fancy schooling exposed as a cruel charade, is desperately searching for a real independence. He casts his lot with the British army, whose promise of emancipation has a vague ring of truth to it, and joins the rag-tag members of the Royal Ethiopian Regiment. There’s still an ocean of misguided loyalties, betrayals, abuse, and violence standing between Octavian and the freedom he longs for, but author M.T. Anderson presents us with a young hero whose pride and determination result in an elegantly philosophical version of a history we all think we know.
posted Mar 26, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Fled to Boston out of fear of a death sentence; has visions of liberty; travels to Virginia in the hopes of joining the counterrevolutionary forces in exchange for his freedom.