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Nobody free till everybody free. Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is toiling on the Frontier sugar cane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky. Moa is to be a cane warrior, and fight for the freedom of all the enslaved people in the nearby plantations Nobody free till everybody free. Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is toiling on the Frontier sugar cane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky. Moa is to be a cane warrior, and fight for the freedom of all the enslaved people in the nearby plantations. But before they can escape, Moa and his friend Keverton must face their first great task: to kill their overseer, Misser Donaldson. Time is ticking, and the day of the uprising approaches . . . Irresistible, gripping and unforgettable, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica, 1760.


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Nobody free till everybody free. Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is toiling on the Frontier sugar cane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky. Moa is to be a cane warrior, and fight for the freedom of all the enslaved people in the nearby plantations Nobody free till everybody free. Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is toiling on the Frontier sugar cane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky. Moa is to be a cane warrior, and fight for the freedom of all the enslaved people in the nearby plantations. But before they can escape, Moa and his friend Keverton must face their first great task: to kill their overseer, Misser Donaldson. Time is ticking, and the day of the uprising approaches . . . Irresistible, gripping and unforgettable, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica, 1760.

30 review for Cane Warriors

  1. 4 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Jamaica 1760 Fourteen-year-old Moa works with the other slaves on Misser Donaldson’s sugar cane farm. The slaves work fourteen hours a day, growing, cutting, and sugar extracting. Moa works out in the fields whilst his mum and little sister work up at the big house cooking for the family and his dad who only has one arm works in the mill. The work is hard, the slave’s bodies are pushed to the limits and the white owners of the slaves are vile humans who t Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Jamaica 1760 Fourteen-year-old Moa works with the other slaves on Misser Donaldson’s sugar cane farm. The slaves work fourteen hours a day, growing, cutting, and sugar extracting. Moa works out in the fields whilst his mum and little sister work up at the big house cooking for the family and his dad who only has one arm works in the mill. The work is hard, the slave’s bodies are pushed to the limits and the white owners of the slaves are vile humans who treat the men and women disgracefully. One night one of the men who works with Moa comes to him and explains that the slaves have had enough and on Easter Monday when there are not so many people around they are going to kill the white owners and leave this inhospitable life behind. Moa has been given the task of killing Misser Donaldson, but is he capable of such an act, and what will happen to him and his family when the owners are dead? How will they survive, will others come after them? Cane Warriors is a short, 192 page YA book, it is also quite a small book. The book is written in the third person and our main character in the book is Moa who is a slave on a Sugar Cane Farm. He has never known any other life. The book begins with Moa after a hard day in the field trying to get some sleep when he is approached by another of the workers who explains that in just a few days on Easter Monday the men are going to kill the slave owners. They are fed up with being treated badly and made to do all the work whilst the owners and their family sit in the big houses and have lavish lifestyles. They are also fed up with them using their women for sex. I wasn’t familiar with the slave rebellion in the Caribbean in the 1700s but one of the main characters in the book is a man called Tacky, and the rebellion is named after him. It was one of the most brutal rebellions in history, however, as this is a YA book the graphic details have not been shared. The book is powerful, eye-opening, and educational too. I found the first few chapters hard going as the book is written in Jamaican dialect and it took some getting used to and working out what was being said. Within a few chapters, it just became second nature and I fully settled into the language and the plot. The book is quite daunting at times, yet completely moving. I turned every page with trepidation wondering what was going to happen next to Moa and the others. What did these people think would happen if they enslaved thousands of men, women, and children. Beat them, forced them to work with sore bodies, hardly fed, clothed, and watered them. These slaves were human’s too and I’m not surprised by the actions they took to rid themselves of the brutal life they had been forced into.

  2. 5 out of 5

    2TReads

    3.5 stars for the read, 4 stars for the nostalgia. Reading this story took me back to reading books like Young Warriors and Sixty-five that chronicles the history of the revolutionaries of my island. More thoughts to come.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    Out in October, this new novel from garlanded children’s/YA author Wheatle takes as its focus Tacky’s Rebellion, a historic slave revolt that occurred in Jamaica in 1760 and shook British colonial confidence so badly that a raft of new, brutally repressive laws were passed subsequently, including a law that outlawed the practice of obeah in the island. Our protagonist is fourteen-year-old Moa, the youngest member of the rebellion (a historical invention, I believe, though probably representative Out in October, this new novel from garlanded children’s/YA author Wheatle takes as its focus Tacky’s Rebellion, a historic slave revolt that occurred in Jamaica in 1760 and shook British colonial confidence so badly that a raft of new, brutally repressive laws were passed subsequently, including a law that outlawed the practice of obeah in the island. Our protagonist is fourteen-year-old Moa, the youngest member of the rebellion (a historical invention, I believe, though probably representative of many other young men who fought with Tacky). Through Moa’s eyes, we understand the fears and motives of the fighters: he is particularly worried for his mother, younger sister, and beloved friend Hamaya, who will soon be of an age to start being sexually abused by slavemasters and white overseers. Tacky (or Takyi), who led the rebellion, was said to have been a king in his village, and he is portrayed as a strong, natural leader here, as is Keverton, Moa’s slightly older friend and fellow fighter. My only reservation was a sense of distance from the characters; I can’t put my finger on what made it so, but it might simply be that I’m not the primary audience for this book, either in age group or in racial heritage. Certainly I think that a YA novel largely narrated in patois and detailing a heroic assertion of independence not habitually taught in schools is exactly the sort of book that publishing needs to champion, and exactly the sort of narrative young readers need to hear, and Wheatle is an accomplished pair of hands.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    3.5 stars super quick read. I don't know much about the Tacky’s War in Jamaica, but from what I researched Wheatle did an great job at bringing more attention to a lesser know rebellion. 3.5 stars super quick read. I don't know much about the Tacky’s War in Jamaica, but from what I researched Wheatle did an great job at bringing more attention to a lesser know rebellion.

  5. 5 out of 5

    gaverne Bennett

    This is an instant modern classic. I read it in one sitting. The prose, the power of the setting, it takes you back to a world that made our world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Egle (readingfreakquotes)

    Cane Warriors is a short YA historical story about the 1760 Easter uprising in Jamaica. Many brave black slaves rebelled against their white owners in an attempt to free themselves and the other slaves from horrifying conditions they were living in. Long working hours in brutal surroundings, constant whipping for barely any reason, feeding on food scraps provided, separated from his family was Moa’s everyday reality from a young age. Despite his father’s protest of being an only son and “nuh grow Cane Warriors is a short YA historical story about the 1760 Easter uprising in Jamaica. Many brave black slaves rebelled against their white owners in an attempt to free themselves and the other slaves from horrifying conditions they were living in. Long working hours in brutal surroundings, constant whipping for barely any reason, feeding on food scraps provided, separated from his family was Moa’s everyday reality from a young age. Despite his father’s protest of being an only son and “nuh grown to his size yet” Moa joins other “cane warriors” and becomes the youngest among the rebellions who on Easter Sunday organised a series of fights against plantations’ overseers. Mr Wheatle delivers the story through 14 years old boy’s POV and combined with a beautiful prose this tale makes a gripping YA novel that it’s hard to put down and that makes you think about it long after you finished reading it. The horrific details are spared and sensitive topics are approached in a way that makes this story suitable for younger readers as well as adults. Cane Warriors story shocked me and shook me to the core, it made me sad, it made me angry and it made me itch for rebellion. I saw myself along those black people fighting for injustice, fighting for their “dreamland”. Thanks to the author, publishers and Kaleidoscopictours for my gifted copy of this novel, I highly recommend reading it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Destiny

    This was so easy to read despite the heavy subject matter, and each page is gripping with tension and conflict. I generally shy away from slave narratives, fictional or nonfictional, because I have to be in the right headspace to read about the horrors of enslavement and black people suffering. I’m quite familiar with North-American chattel slavery, but this is my first time learning about some West Indian/Caribbean enslavement. It’s always so interesting how we hear so little about slave rebell This was so easy to read despite the heavy subject matter, and each page is gripping with tension and conflict. I generally shy away from slave narratives, fictional or nonfictional, because I have to be in the right headspace to read about the horrors of enslavement and black people suffering. I’m quite familiar with North-American chattel slavery, but this is my first time learning about some West Indian/Caribbean enslavement. It’s always so interesting how we hear so little about slave rebellions and uprisings. Anyway, this was a great read! The brotherhood between Keverton and Moa and the loveliness of Hamaya broke my heart. 5/5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Cane Warriors has to be a classic. It is written for teen readers so that means that it restricts the amount of violent details and refers in polite way to future rape. But it is historical fiction, it does not speak for the slave owners only for the slaves in Tacky's War in Jamaca in 1760. The voice that we is Moa, the youngest of the rebellion. He was only fourteen years old, not considered to be a man yet. He chopped sugar cane under the strong heat of the sun with billhooks. Billhooks have a Cane Warriors has to be a classic. It is written for teen readers so that means that it restricts the amount of violent details and refers in polite way to future rape. But it is historical fiction, it does not speak for the slave owners only for the slaves in Tacky's War in Jamaca in 1760. The voice that we is Moa, the youngest of the rebellion. He was only fourteen years old, not considered to be a man yet. He chopped sugar cane under the strong heat of the sun with billhooks. Billhooks have a thick blade which is hooked at the end to protect the blade from becoming blunt if dropped on the ground. The blade at the other end was usually embedded in a wooden handle. Chopping the sugar cane from the beginning of the day to the end hurt the back and wore out their arms. They had to keep going or the overseer would use a backripper on them. The backripper was an instrument of torture and was used to tear into the backs of slaves, sometimes a form of punishment, sometimes at the whim of the overseer. What hope did the slaves have? Working all day and being tortured frequently. The little girls were afraid of growing older for fear of being raped by the white men on the plantation. Moa joined the rebelli0n that started on Easter Sunday with slaves lying low at first, with the goal of killing all the white men with billhooks. Violence through killing, fear of being killed, courage to take action and pride that they did. It took courage for them to do this but when you read the book, you think what other alternative did they have. I received this Advanced Cooy from the publishers as a win in a FirstRead Contest. My thoughts and feelings in this review are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mooney

    This is a compelling narrative, a deeply moving and important story and by a distance the best teen novel I've ever read. Wheatle brings brilliantly to life the story of Tacky and his cane warriors, a band of impossibly brave slaves who revolted against their owners in 1760. We follow Moa, the youngest slave involved, as he witnesses and takes part in the slaying of slave masters and their families on their plantation and those surrounding it. But killing their immediate oppressors is only the sta This is a compelling narrative, a deeply moving and important story and by a distance the best teen novel I've ever read. Wheatle brings brilliantly to life the story of Tacky and his cane warriors, a band of impossibly brave slaves who revolted against their owners in 1760. We follow Moa, the youngest slave involved, as he witnesses and takes part in the slaying of slave masters and their families on their plantation and those surrounding it. But killing their immediate oppressors is only the start. There will be more white men coming - there always are - and Tacky, Moa and the others must prepare for the arrival of the big ships. Being a teen novel, we are spared the most brutal elements of everyday slavery - lashings and body-and-soul destroying work is mentioned but not laboured over as it perhaps is in adult novels. But Wheatle doesn't hold back when it comes to scenes of battle and the bloody choices the young Moa has to make. Wheatle's tale has at its heart hope and bravery and serves as a magnificent tribute to the extraordinary courage of this incredible group of people.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    It is was my total pleasure to kick off the tour for this wonderful book. Thank you so much to Kaleidoscopic Tours and Andersen Press for inviting me to be a part of the tour and for the gifted copy, and of course thank you to Alex Wheatle for sharing this story. When I read the blurb for this I knew it was going to be a powerful story, and I wasn't wrong. I was blown away by this book. THIS is the sort of YA book we should see more of! It is incredibly important that these moments in history are It is was my total pleasure to kick off the tour for this wonderful book. Thank you so much to Kaleidoscopic Tours and Andersen Press for inviting me to be a part of the tour and for the gifted copy, and of course thank you to Alex Wheatle for sharing this story. When I read the blurb for this I knew it was going to be a powerful story, and I wasn't wrong. I was blown away by this book. THIS is the sort of YA book we should see more of! It is incredibly important that these moments in history are not forgotten, that the fight be known, be shared, be discussed. To my shame I knew only very little about the story behind this book before going in. The story focuses on Moa, a 14 year old slave on a Jamaican sugar plantation, and his participation in Tacky's Rebellion, a slave uprising that took place in 1760. The events here are harrowing, disturbing, moving, tragic, but such a powerful subject matter is handled adeptly and sensitively. I believed in their fight, I stood with them, I wanted to fight alongside these brave Freedom Fighters. I felt their pain, their fear. I felt angry with them, and for them! Alex Wheatle's prose is what truly drew me into this story, it is beautifully written, and hard to put down. This is a story that needs to be told. This is history that must not be forgotten. The fight against injustice must continue! 5 powerful stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Loved that the spelling was as they speak in this fantastic tale based on the true story of Tacky's War against British slavers in Jamaica, 1760. We follow 14 Yr old Moa as he is woken at night and asked to be part of the break out. He will have a job to do, play his part. But he and his friend Keverton kill the overseer, the one who whips their skin off during the day for small incidents, then drinks the sugar cane water at night. As the time approaches, can they set the other plantations free t Loved that the spelling was as they speak in this fantastic tale based on the true story of Tacky's War against British slavers in Jamaica, 1760. We follow 14 Yr old Moa as he is woken at night and asked to be part of the break out. He will have a job to do, play his part. But he and his friend Keverton kill the overseer, the one who whips their skin off during the day for small incidents, then drinks the sugar cane water at night. As the time approaches, can they set the other plantations free too? Can they truly be free Mon? Such a great sense of place & time, the food, the smells come alive as the language washes over you and the danger becomes real. Beautifully told by the Brixton Bard, Alex Wheatle. Everyone should read it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aoife

    I'll be honest: I didn't know the British had kept slaves in the Caribbean. I should have guessed, as they kept them everywhere else, but I'd never heard of it before. That's why this book is so important, of course; just as British schoolchildren don't learn about the Irish Famine, they undoubtedly don't learn about this either, and they should. Be warned that the speech is rendered almost phonetically, and if, like me, you have trouble with dialect, it might be tough for you. If the whole book I'll be honest: I didn't know the British had kept slaves in the Caribbean. I should have guessed, as they kept them everywhere else, but I'd never heard of it before. That's why this book is so important, of course; just as British schoolchildren don't learn about the Irish Famine, they undoubtedly don't learn about this either, and they should. Be warned that the speech is rendered almost phonetically, and if, like me, you have trouble with dialect, it might be tough for you. If the whole book had been written that way, I might have had to give up, but as it's only speech and the occasional thought, I pushed through. The treatment Moa and his fellow slaves receive is abominable, and the notes at the end make things even worse. I won't spoil it for you. I'd love to see this as a school novel; I think it could really do with being taught and studied. (It won't be, of course, because of the violence, but I would love it.) This is a read that, while I can't say I enjoyed it, I'm very glad I read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary Judy

    In a consuming and honest representation of history, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tackys’ War in Jamaica to win freedom for the slaves living and working in the horrendous, life-destroying cane plantations. While this is a work of fiction, its’ understanding and knowledge of historical events is unerring; shining a brilliant, heart-wrenching light onto the plight of a people with no choice but to fight. With finely woven words that bleed beautifully across the page, it’s story is brut In a consuming and honest representation of history, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tackys’ War in Jamaica to win freedom for the slaves living and working in the horrendous, life-destroying cane plantations. While this is a work of fiction, its’ understanding and knowledge of historical events is unerring; shining a brilliant, heart-wrenching light onto the plight of a people with no choice but to fight. With finely woven words that bleed beautifully across the page, it’s story is brutal, moving, undeniable and holds great tenderness and compassion amongst the harsh realities of its’ telling. This book is urgent and powerful as it tells its’ tale and rightly so. I could not put it down. When I finally closed the book, it was with feelings of anger and sorrow and tears in my eyes, but also with a feeling of hope and brotherhood. There may be moments when you want to stop reading, but its’ passionate song carries you through.

  14. 5 out of 5

    lisa

    I thought I knew about Tacky's Rebellion, but I had it mixed up with the Maroon Wars, because no one ever taught me the fascinating history of rebellions among enslaved people (or close to enslaved people) of the Americas. Reading this book was an amazing look into history, partly because I learned of Tacky's courage and vision of a better life than one lived in the brutality of the enslaver's whims, and partly because it was written in Jamaican patois, so I felt like I was really in the charact I thought I knew about Tacky's Rebellion, but I had it mixed up with the Maroon Wars, because no one ever taught me the fascinating history of rebellions among enslaved people (or close to enslaved people) of the Americas. Reading this book was an amazing look into history, partly because I learned of Tacky's courage and vision of a better life than one lived in the brutality of the enslaver's whims, and partly because it was written in Jamaican patois, so I felt like I was really in the character's lives. This book doesn't go into much historical detail, but very much stays in the emotions of 14 year old Moa who joins the rebellion, despite opposition from his father. The book returns to this theme throughout: would you rather carry on, knowing that at least you know the terrible things in your life, or do you fight against the injustices, knowing that you may lose your life? Moa's answer to himself is pretty clear, but he and other character's acknowledge his father's fear for his only son, and fear for himself. This is a violent book, but it is also a book about friendship, loyalty, and the frustrations of a people that can no longer take the brutality and injustice of their lives. In other words, it is a perfect read for kids watching the news cycle in 2020. The rebellions of early Americans are rebellions still echoing in our streets more than 350 years later.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Naiomi Tee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Disclaimer: I've just finished reading this, and I'm still quite emotional so forgive me for rambling, however I feel compelled to write something as I really loved this book. So although it is set against a horrific backdrop, for me this is beautiful story of two comrades,  brothers even who join the mighty Tacky and his cane warriors to fight the brutality and evil that is slavery. The story of this uprising is an important one but the centering of these characters in the narrative gives it a Disclaimer: I've just finished reading this, and I'm still quite emotional so forgive me for rambling, however I feel compelled to write something as I really loved this book. So although it is set against a horrific backdrop, for me this is beautiful story of two comrades,  brothers even who join the mighty Tacky and his cane warriors to fight the brutality and evil that is slavery. The story of this uprising is an important one but the centering of these characters in the narrative gives it an interesting angle. I especially love that Alex writes black male characters who are so multifaceted, we get to see them display a range of characteristics from vulnerability to courage, bravado, strength and fear. I adore Moa and Keverton's relationship but I did feel a sense of dread as I read on, just knowing that something bad would happen. I especially like the attention to detail in this novel. From the importance of the Akan culture and traditional spirituallity throughout the text, to the subtle irony of Moa on one hand being full of innocence, having not yet grow to his full size, but being 'seasoned' just like an adult male would have been and witnessing so much horror at his young age whilst living and working on the plantation. Just like many black children today who are often not afforded the benefit of being seen as children, Moa is treated like an adult by the slavemasters. However Alex makes a point to show that Tacky and the other men did treat Moa like the child he was, shielding him from some of the more difficult parts of their plans and giving him the option to go back to his parents if he wanted to. . The love between these men, these cane warriors is what makes this such a beautiful story. Coupled with its historial significance this book is a must read. However,  be warned, it will bring you to tears, it's extremely emotive. The blood really does remember.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristel Greer

    I was sent a copy of the book for review. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. This was a harrowing yet gripping story based on true events and set in Jamaica in 1760 on a sugar plantation called Frontier. Moa is a 14 year old slave who was recently whipped by overseer Donaldson with his back ripper. The realities of death by being overworked, body degradation, murder by flogging, amputations and rape of the women by the white men are all too apparent to Moa and friend, Keverton. When the great I was sent a copy of the book for review. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~. This was a harrowing yet gripping story based on true events and set in Jamaica in 1760 on a sugar plantation called Frontier. Moa is a 14 year old slave who was recently whipped by overseer Donaldson with his back ripper. The realities of death by being overworked, body degradation, murder by flogging, amputations and rape of the women by the white men are all too apparent to Moa and friend, Keverton. When the great Tacky starts to gather men for a planned Easter uprising, they are approached to take part. They are scared but willing to do their job. What follows is a raw, atmospheric and compelling retelling of the slave revolt in Frontier, onto the neighbouring plantations and a nearby garrison. It is written from the point of view of Moa and his experiences while also referencing Akan history, culture and religious beliefs so beautifully. The inclusion of Akan songs and phrases, mentions of the various gods and blessings from their different religions and the provocative and righteous battle cry of "De Blood Remembers" creates a rich and layered narrative within this book. The horrors of slavery are notorious but I have mostly seen it from the African/North American view point. I was struck by the lack of mainstream films, books or documentaries on this side of the slave trade and it has opened by eyes to a history that I need to learn more about. I give this book 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. It was a moving read but one that made me think and for me that’s the best part of this story. I want to know more about these brave men who risked their lives in the hope of freedom from oppression and the end of slavery. I want to know more about their history and the history of other West Indian slave uprisings and the brave men that carried them out. This is a testament to these events and their fight for freedom.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bex

    I'm pretty ashamed to admit that this book was quite an eye-opener for me, having known very little about the the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica in 1790, and even less about the slave industry within Jamaica, generally. But I think that's the point - this isn't, and certainly wasn't when I was at school, taught to children. Instead, a general overview or more well-known history is shared. Cane Warriors, I would imagine, would be an excellent addition to a curriculum. The content is ferocio I'm pretty ashamed to admit that this book was quite an eye-opener for me, having known very little about the the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica in 1790, and even less about the slave industry within Jamaica, generally. But I think that's the point - this isn't, and certainly wasn't when I was at school, taught to children. Instead, a general overview or more well-known history is shared. Cane Warriors, I would imagine, would be an excellent addition to a curriculum. The content is ferocious, teaching of the unrelenting sun and hard toil each day for the slaves on the sugar cane plantation. The setting is captured so vividly that I really felt for the characters and had to take a few breaks just to settle myself. The trouble I had however is a trouble I've always had with books - the dialect. Told from the perspective of a fourteen year old boy with broad dialect spoken and written phonetically, this story was a real struggle for me to properly take in. I don't know why I find this such a challenge, but my brain just seems to reject writing like this. For me to fully appreciate this book I would need to have perhaps listened to it as an audiobook. I remember reading Huckleberry Finn at a much younger age and having exactly the same problem, despite enjoying the story. Regardless, an important story to be told, just perhaps worth bearing in mind that an audiobook version might be easier for some readers. ARC provided from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Fourteen year old slave boy Mao is asked to be a participant in the 1760 Jamaican slave rebellion which came to be known as Tacky’s war. He longs to be a man and to protect his people including his good friend, an eleven year old girl who fears to be taken any evening now by one of the white men. Mao also fears what is ahead. I found this to be an amazing story which I had trouble putting down and read almost straight through. Wheatle created an unforgettable, well-realized character with Mao. The Fourteen year old slave boy Mao is asked to be a participant in the 1760 Jamaican slave rebellion which came to be known as Tacky’s war. He longs to be a man and to protect his people including his good friend, an eleven year old girl who fears to be taken any evening now by one of the white men. Mao also fears what is ahead. I found this to be an amazing story which I had trouble putting down and read almost straight through. Wheatle created an unforgettable, well-realized character with Mao. The story is wonderfully told with historical facts, legends and word-of-mouth knit tightly together. My only reservation about recommending this book is that the dialogue is written in patois, which might make it a challenge for a younger reader. At times, I read the dialogue outloud which helped immensely. I think this will probably be one of my favorite YA reads of 2021.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Cane Warriors in exchange for an honest review! Cane Warriors in a YA/middle grade story following 14 year old Moa who finds himself wrapped up in Tacky's war and tasked with killing his overseer at the cane plantation. Though young, Moa is ready to leave everything he knows behind for a chance at freedom for him and others. I don't actually have a lot to see here. Plotwise, Cane Warriors was interesting and informative and if you're reading it to l Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Cane Warriors in exchange for an honest review! Cane Warriors in a YA/middle grade story following 14 year old Moa who finds himself wrapped up in Tacky's war and tasked with killing his overseer at the cane plantation. Though young, Moa is ready to leave everything he knows behind for a chance at freedom for him and others. I don't actually have a lot to see here. Plotwise, Cane Warriors was interesting and informative and if you're reading it to learn about 1760s Jamaica, you'll enjoy it. Narrative wise, it always felt a tad too much like an adult writing for a 14 year old in a way I can't quite put my finger on that kept me a bit distant from the emotional impact of the plot.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    “Better to die for something than dead becah you body mash up in service to de slavemaster.” What does it really mean to kill someone and how do you reconcile your actions? Fourteen year old Moa is recruited to kill one of the overseers on his plantation. He understands the necessity and wants to contribute in freeing slaves. But can he really kill someone, even if it’s someone that oppresses him? In 1760 a small group of slaves in Jamaica revolted against their white slave masters, the killing sp “Better to die for something than dead becah you body mash up in service to de slavemaster.” What does it really mean to kill someone and how do you reconcile your actions? Fourteen year old Moa is recruited to kill one of the overseers on his plantation. He understands the necessity and wants to contribute in freeing slaves. But can he really kill someone, even if it’s someone that oppresses him? In 1760 a small group of slaves in Jamaica revolted against their white slave masters, the killing spreading to three plantations. Fourteen year old Moa and his best friend Keverton, are part of the slave revolt and are tasked with killing; but both are frightened at the idea and throughout the book Moa grapples with the memories of death while fantasizing about the simplicity of dictating his own life with a wife and children. Moa is committed to the cause and to fighting and though he’s the youngest, he’s determined to prove his courage to the elders and Keverton. Exploring themes of freedom, bondage, family, death, guilt, religion, and loyalty from Moa’s perspective and written in Jamaican dialect, the writing is clearly for a younger audience, but there is violence to keep the subject realistic. It’s a book about slaves fighting and willing to kill and die for their freedom. But to me the strongest aspect of this book is the relationship between Moa and his mother and his deep friendship with Keverton. It’s rare that families remained together on one plantation, but @alexwheatle chose to have them living in the same place, but not in the same home. Nevertheless, Moa seeks the approval of both his parents, even though he’d already decided to fight. With Keverton there’s a strong loyalty and brotherhood. Moa gains his courage from him and their heartbreaking ending is really moving.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Moa works on a Jamaican sugar cane plantation, cutting the cane for hours a day under a regime that is frequently brutal. Set during the Jamaican slave uprising of 1760, the story follows the story of a fourteen year old boy who takes part in the largest slave revolt in British history. Led by an Akan slave called Tacky, Moa and his best friend Keverton play out their role in the rebellion, armed with their conviction that 'nobody free till everybody free.' This beautifully written children's no Moa works on a Jamaican sugar cane plantation, cutting the cane for hours a day under a regime that is frequently brutal. Set during the Jamaican slave uprising of 1760, the story follows the story of a fourteen year old boy who takes part in the largest slave revolt in British history. Led by an Akan slave called Tacky, Moa and his best friend Keverton play out their role in the rebellion, armed with their conviction that 'nobody free till everybody free.' This beautifully written children's novel highlights a period of history that is often overlooked.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andhisnosestuckinabook

    This book truly shone a light on a time in history that I had no previous knowledge or exposure too. Books like this and the history they come from should be required reading for children at school, I know for a fact I would have appreciated so much being educated on this time in history. This powerful and moving story of 14 Year Old Moa Being the youngest to join the rebellion will truly move and impact readers. I would highly recommend.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    YA historical fiction about Tacky’s Rebellion, a slave uprising in Jamaica in 1760, told from the perspective of a fourteen year old combatant, Moa. I recommend audio for this because the dialect is heavy. I hadn’t heard of Tacky’s War before, so I appreciate the education, but I found the prose dry, and I know pre-teen/teen me would not have had the patience to finish it. Thanks to Akashic Books and LibraryThing for the print ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claire (c.isfor.claire_reads)

    This is a short YA book, coming in at just over 180 pages, based on the true story of an 18th century slave uprising, which took place on Easter Sunday in 1760 in Jamaica, called the 'Tacky Wars'. It's a book that everyone should read. It is an important part of history. It's powerful, masterful and packs a punch. Although the events take place are harrowing and tragic, it is an absolute compelling read, re-telling the events of the uprising in this fictional story. Written from Moa's point of v This is a short YA book, coming in at just over 180 pages, based on the true story of an 18th century slave uprising, which took place on Easter Sunday in 1760 in Jamaica, called the 'Tacky Wars'. It's a book that everyone should read. It is an important part of history. It's powerful, masterful and packs a punch. Although the events take place are harrowing and tragic, it is an absolute compelling read, re-telling the events of the uprising in this fictional story. Written from Moa's point of view and references Akan phrases and sayings. It mentions the various Gods that bestowed their blessings on the Akan people. A must read, and comes highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jared Mancini

    I really enjoyed this book. In some ways it reminds me of the movie short of it's author's name, Alex Wheatle. It is like a small look into a very specific moment in time which shapes a person, a people, forever. I really enjoyed this book. In some ways it reminds me of the movie short of it's author's name, Alex Wheatle. It is like a small look into a very specific moment in time which shapes a person, a people, forever.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    Gripping account of Tacky's war in Jamaica in 1760 - read it! Gripping account of Tacky's war in Jamaica in 1760 - read it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    Through fiction, Alex Wheatle’s Cane Warriors introduced me to Tacky’s Rebellion, a time in British colonial and Jamaican history of which I was unaware. Through the voice of Moa, a fourteen-year-old slave who joins the rebellion against his father’s wishes, this excellent telling conveys the hopes, fears, and courage of the rebels as they go up against those who have tyrannized them for so long. The mark of a good historical novel for me is one that encourages me to read further on the topic. T Through fiction, Alex Wheatle’s Cane Warriors introduced me to Tacky’s Rebellion, a time in British colonial and Jamaican history of which I was unaware. Through the voice of Moa, a fourteen-year-old slave who joins the rebellion against his father’s wishes, this excellent telling conveys the hopes, fears, and courage of the rebels as they go up against those who have tyrannized them for so long. The mark of a good historical novel for me is one that encourages me to read further on the topic. This I did when reading Cane Warriors. It has emotional and educational appeal and value to both young adult and adult readers and I’m very fortunate to have been one of the latter.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Intestinal Worm

    Ripper of a read - not just for YAs!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ryk Good

    Exactly what I was looking to learn about Takyi's (or Tacky) war! If anyone gets a chance then they should check it out the audiobook as well. It was superbly done. Exactly what I was looking to learn about Takyi's (or Tacky) war! If anyone gets a chance then they should check it out the audiobook as well. It was superbly done.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    Just a brilliant book. A story of a slave revolt in Jamaica, it’s a harrowing but essential read. Like others, I imagine, I couldn’t put this down and raced through it in one sitting.

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