Teacher Lesley: Author and Educator

“In this unique work of nonfiction, Edinger and Younge transform the words of Olaudah Equiano’s 1789 autobiographical slavery narrative into found-verse poetry. They chose their subject well: Equiano’s extraordinary life story is full of suffering and terror, but also adventure and exploration, shocking reversals of fortune and, eventually, freedom and abolition work.” – Booklist (Starred Review)

“Without losing the source text’s emotional heft, Edinger and Younge’s visceral poems respectfully provide an effective entry point into the seminal work.” – Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)

“This highly successful adaptation of his original work uses Equiano’s own words, turned into found verse and supplemented with important historical context that makes this primary source accessible. The overall result is exceptionally readable as well as informative.” – Kirkus (Starred Review)

Millions of Africans were enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade, but few recorded their personal experiences. Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is perhaps the most well known of the autobiographies that exist. Using this narrative as a primary source text, authors Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge share Equiano’s life story in found verse, supplemented with annotations to give readers historical context. This poetic approach provides interesting analysis and synthesis, helping readers to better understand the original text. Follow Equiano from his life in Africa as a child to his enslavement at a young age, his travels across the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, his liberation, and his life as a free man.

Everyone in the neighborhood knows Allen is the fastest kid around. As soon as school lets out, he’s racing through the park, past the library, and down the sidewalks. They call him A-Train because he’s practically faster than the subway. ZOOM! But where is Allen off to every afternoon? Got somewhere to be! Got somewhere to be! he calls. Race through the city with A-Train and discover what finally gets him to slow down. An Own Voices, Own Stories Grand Prize winner.

“Younge’s bouncy text makes dynamic use of color, font, and vocabulary for a tale of vitality and verve. A sweet tale worth slowing down to read.” – Kirkus