Title: Jupiter Williams
Author: S.I. Martin
Jupiter Williams was a free book given to me on my first day at NYU in London. All students are required to read it for a class we take together on Monday nights. When I was handed the book, I cringed a little. It looked like it might be a heavy, dense, literary story about African slaves in Britain. Not my idea of pleasure reading. What a relief to find that it was a children's book! Well, not necessarily children's, but certainly for a young audience. I found that I read it with much more enjoyment knowing it was right up my alley.
Jupiter, the title character, is attending an all boys black academy in London in the late 18th century. He is there with his brother, far away from their family in Sierra Leone. When Jupiter's brother is kidnapped, he must decide how he will uphold his father's honor and what his identity is in London.
Despite the my enjoyment in the genre, the book wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I do like historical fiction, but the context just wasn't my favorite. However, the story moved quite well and kept me very interested. I found that I became invested in Jupiter and hoped the best for him. The writing is sophisticated for a children's book, and Martine has a clear mastery of the facts behind his story. I liked it well enough to go to a launch party for the next book in the sequence, Jupiter Amidships. Meeting the author was an enlightening experience, and in introducing myself to his publicist, I may have secured an internship for the semester!
Price: £5.99, paperback