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Adventurous,
Fun,
Informative

8 reviews

The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride

Published: 2014-08-05
Paperback : 480 pages
4 members reading this now
15 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 8 members
Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith
A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year

“A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.” –cover review ...
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Introduction

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith
A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year

“A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.” –cover review of The New York Times Book Review
“Outrageously entertaining.” –USA Today
“James McBride delivers another tour de force” –Essence
“So imaginative, you’ll race to the finish.” –NPR.org
“Wildly entertaining.”—4-star People lead review
"A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel.” – Washington Post
 
From the bestselling author of The Color of Water, Song Yet Sung, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography, 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.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

PART I – FREE DEEDS (Kansas)

Meet The Lord

I was born a colored man and don’t you forget it. But I lived as a colored woman for seventeen years.

My Pa was a full-blooded Negro out of Osawatomie, in Kansas Territory, north of Fort Scott, near Lawrence. Pa was a barber by trade, though that never gived him full satisfaction. Preaching the gospel was his main line. Pa didn’t have a regular church , like the type that don’t allow nothing but bingo on Wednesday nights and women setting around making paper dolls cutouts. He saved souls one at a time, cutting hair at Dutch Henry’s Tavern, which was tucked at a crossing on the California Trail that runs along the Kaw River in south Kansas Territory. ... view entire excerpt...

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by pwjenks (see profile) 05/31/17

 
by lilacdreams (see profile) 09/21/16

 
  "The Good Lord Bird"by rachael.stube@gmail.com (see profile) 04/14/16

Very funny - informative re the time of John Brown. Good read

 
by dseemueller (see profile) 02/01/16

 
  "The Good Lord Bird"by demahas (see profile) 07/01/15

Wonderfully written story based on the life of John Brown, the abolitionist.

 
by ksease (see profile) 06/02/15

 
by gelczis (see profile) 04/27/15

 
  "I'm not sure where fact meets fiction.."by Sloanie (see profile) 02/23/15

...in this story. Although it covers a very dark and serious time in our history, the author writes with such voice that at times I was literally laughing out loud. I have been intrigued, through my... (read more)

 
by Dnjsc (see profile) 09/17/14

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