From the bestselling author of The Color of Water and Song Yet Sung comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.
Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.
Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.
An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.
Praise for Song Yet Sung
“[A] well-designed, gripping plot. One often risks turning the pages so fast as to miss some of the richness and subtlety of the writing.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Hypnotizing . . .One lyrical sentence somersaults into another. . . .McBride keeps the suspense high as he raises troubling questions about slavery’s legacy, the price of freedom and what it means to be human.”—People Magazine
“Gripping, affecting, and beautifully paced, Song Yet Sung illuminates, in the most dramatic fashion, a deeply troubled, vastly complicated moment in American history.”—O: The Oprah Magazine