One boy's thrilling adventure through the seedy underbelly of London in the 1800s.
London 1800. Jupiter is young, black, living at the African Academy in Clapham with other boys from wealthy Sierra Leonean families. His life is a mixture of privilege and dispossession as he copes with the cruelty of his teachers, the rivalries and tensions among his schoolmates, a sense of duty towards his younger brother Robert and guilt over the death of another brother in Africa. Throughout, Jupiter strives to maintain his dignity, his Christian faith and pride in his roots.
But beyond the relative ease of Clapham lies another London, where poor black communities struggle for survival along the squalid reaches of the Thames. A world where Jupiter's education and background mean nothing and skin colour alone determines fate. Into this world his younger brother Robert vanishes, and Jupiter is obliged to follow ...
Historical fiction at its very best. ... intelligent, engaging, and exciting. - Books for Keeps
... provides plenty for readers to think about - the questions it raises are still pertinent today. - Kate Agnew, The Guardian
Exciting and convincing ... Highly recommended. - Write Away
Exciting and tense ... Super stuff. - Jill Murphy, The Bookbag
Masterful storytelling with a constant undertone of menace. Well written, it succeeds as a story about a young man who finds himself, as much as a story about slavery. - Carousel
Authentic ... gripping historical thriller. - Northern Echo
... perfect for children ... who are interested in social history and adventure. - First News
S.I. Martin is a writer and historian. Founder of the series of narrative London walks entitled '500 Years of Black London', he also works in education and the media, specialising in Black British history and literature. He is the author of an adult novel Incomparable World, and Britain's Slave Trade for the Channel 4 series of the same name. He is much in demand with such as English Heritage, National Maritime Museum, Museum of London, Museum in Docklands, Imperial War Museum, Public Records Office and British Council Literature wing. S.I. Martin has been appointed as NYU in London Visiting Professor for the 2009-2010 academic year.