Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is the heartbreaking account of Thomas Jefferson’s invisible children with his slave Miss Sally Hemmings. Set at the Great House of Monticello and its surrounding farms, the story is told in three parts and narrated by 3 slave children, two of whom areJefferson’s own. Though they receive special treatment and privileges and have a promise of freedom at age 21, his slave children and their mother are owned and are not free. Throughout the novel the question is raised, how can the man responsible for the Declaration of Independence, one of history’s most inspiring statements of freedom, not see the contradiction in owning a human life? Were not all men created equal?
The reader follows Jefferson’s light skinned children from their youth until they prepare to leave the plantation to officially enter white society and disavow their former lives as slaves and the only family that they ever knew. We are witness to the atrocities of slavery and the haunting truths about one of our nation’s founding fathers of democracy. The reader will be moved by the poignant stories of all of the characters and learn what was valued the most when one had so little to call his own.
Submitted by Trish