When Amos Fortune was only fifteen years old, he was captured by slave traders and brought to Massachusetts, where he was sold at auction. Although his freedom had been taken, Amos never lost his courage. For 45 years, Amos worked as a slave and dreamed of freedom. And, at age 60, he finally began to see those dreams come true.
When the great Velázquez was painting his masterpieces at the Spanish court in the seventeenth century, his colors were expertly mixed and his canvases carefully prepared by his slave, Juan de Pareja. This novel depicts both the beauty and the cruelty of the time and place, as it tells the story of Juan, who was born a slave and died an accomplished and respected artist.
A young boy learns the pain of humiliation and anger when his father is given an unjust jail sentence for stealing a ham. Learning to read and to discover that things do not die but become part of other things brings the youngster new hope.