From the horrors of the slave trade to a book that changed the world, Catherine Johnson celebrates the incredible life of Olaudah Equiano in this gripping true story.
Born in what is now Nigeria in 1745, Olaudah Equiano’s peaceful childhood was brought to an abrupt end when he was captured and enslaved aged 11. He spent much of the next ten years of his life at sea, seeing action in the Seven Years’ War. When he was finally able to buy his freedom, he went on to become a prominent member of the abolition movement and in 1789 published one of the first books by a Black African writer. Journey Back to Freedom focuses on Equiano’s early life, demonstrating the resilience of the human spirit and one man’s determination to be free.
"Olaudah Equiano's story is one that everyone should read & know, and I can't think of anyone better than [Catherine Johnson] to tell it" -- S.F. Said
"Expertly researched and written, accessible and absolutely vital" -- Sophie Anderson
"Johnson’s lively, lightly fictionalised account of Equiano’s life makes gripping reading for 9+" -- The Guardian
"Meticulously researched, richly imagined and beautifully written ... [Johnson's] nuanced approach will lead to thought-provoking discussions, and her engaging style means the book will fly off the shelves" -- Reading for Pleasure and Progress
"An incredible story of survival and freedom ... recounted here as a powerful historical novel ... The narrative is fast-paced and immediate – replicating the constant unpredictability of Equiano’s experience. [Johnson] doesn’t shy away from the brutality he experienced, but her words are carefully chosen for young readers." -- Film Stories, 'Children's Book of the Week'
- Short-listed for York Book Award 2023
- Short-listed for Young Quills Award 2023