A Cage Without Bars

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Joseph, a Jewish slave boy, survives by a combination of luck, quick wits, and the hope of freedom

In 1492, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain signed the Edict of Expulsion, giving all Jews three months to leave the country. In the aftermath, twelve-year-old Joseph escapes to Lisbon, Portugal with his parents and younger sister, Gracia. After only eight months of safety, Joseph and Gracia, along with hundreds of other Jewish children, are kidnapped from the port in Lisbon and put on a ship. They then make a dangerous journey to the island of São Tomé, off the coast of West Africa. Now slaves, they are forced to work on a sugarcane plantation. Joseph must work in the fields, his life repeatedly saved by a combination of luck, strength, and quick wits. While Gracia tries to accept their circumstances, Joseph holds on to the hope that, one day, they will be free.

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Praise & Recognition

An important educational…take on this little-known historical tragedy. Kirkus
"The well-developed characters feel very real. Although the book is explicit about the suffering these children and others endured, the excellent writing makes the book accessible to children..." Jewish Book Council
This is a standout work of historical fiction for children. AJL

Canadian Jewish Literary Award, Children/Youth 2019 - Winner

The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2019 - Commended


Publication Date: September 10, 2018

Reading Age: 9 - 12

Reading Level: Z

Genre: Children's Fiction

Product Format: Paperback

Pages: 154

ISBN: 978-1-77260-069-8

Anne Dublin

About the Author

Anne Dublin

Anne Dublin is a former teacher-librarian and award-winning author living in Toronto. She has written two biographies for Second Story Press: June Callwood: A Life of Action and Bobbie Rosenfeld: The Olympian Who Could Do Everything, as well as Dynamic Women Dancers, part of the Women’s Hall of Fame Series. She has also written the children’s historical fiction novel The Orphan Rescue.
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