Samuel’s Choice

Samuel is a fourteen-year-old enslaved African American in Brooklyn in 1776 when the fighting between the British and the colonists reaches his doorstep. “Liberty ain’t for Africans,” says fellow servants. “It got nothin’ to do with us.” But his friend Sana says, “Nobody here’s gonna be free unless they take the risk.” Soon the well-equipped Redcoats have trapped ragged American soldiers, who have no boats to escape, and a terrible storm blows up. Samuel, a strong boatman, must decide what he should do.

  • 40 Pages
  • 8" x 9"
  • 9780807572191
  • January 2012

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • $6.99
  • This item is currently out of stock.


  • Fact and fiction are woven together seamlessly to create this richly textured story of a 14-year-old black slave during the early days of the American Revolution…Samuel’s first-person narrative is at once affecting and informative, making this a history lesson that readers will absorb with their hearts as well as their minds.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • Samuel’s initial uncertainty and his later resolution are beautifully portrayed. If students say history is boring, give them this book.

    - School Library Journal

  • In a fictional first-person narrative, Samuel, 14, tells how he goes up against his cruel pro-British owner and risks his life to help Washington’s retreating army, rowing boatload after boatload across the water to safety…Readers will enjoy the action and heroism in the story and the full-page colored ink-and-pencil illustrations.

    - Booklist

Awards & Accolades

  • 1990 CBC/NCSS Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies


    James Watling

    Common Core

    RL.3.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 RL.4.1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10


    • Accelerated Reader Points: 1.00
    • ATOS Level: 4.40