Amos Fortune: Free Man

by Elizabeth Yates
181 pages, Biography/History
Reviewed by emmanem

A great biographical novel with wonderful moral values, and worthy of its Newberry Award.


At-Mun, the prince of the At-mun-shi village, is captured by white men and taken away from his tribe and beloved sister to be sold as a slave to a kind and loving family of Englishmen. They teach him the work of a weaver, and he is lovingly accepted into their community. His master offers At-mun's (now renamed "Amos") freedom, but Amos refuses, wanting to stay with the family; but his master dies, leaving Amos to be sold to another kind but strict master, this one a tanner.


Most of the white men are very cruel to Africans and they whip Amos once, but both of his masters are kind to him.

Spiritual Content

Amos comes from a tribe of Indians that worship many gods, but his masters teach him about the true God.


Amos is whipped once in the beginning of the book.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content

Amos marries and then remarries after his first wife dies.

Crude or Profane Language or Content



A great read, worthy of the Newberry Award and suitable for any age. Though this is a work of fiction, Amos Fortune was a historical figure and the novel teaches a great deal about the time period of 1710-1802, as well as exploring the concept of freedom. It is a very exciting read, and I was pretty much glued to the book from beginning to end. While the whippings may be disturbing to some young readers, they are not condoned, accurately portray the time period, and so do not detract from the book's values.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

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