February 22, 2012
Last updated: February 23, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer - View all my reviews
Courageous Gold Coast Girl's Inspirational Illustrated History
Readers will be captivated and inspired by this graphic page-turner of a young African girl's trial in Africa's Gold Coast. While Abina's experience of being separated from family and friends early in life and sold to a series of slave owners was not unusual in 1876 Ghana, it was extraordinary that Abina not only escaped captivity but subsequently brought her slave owner to trial. Fascinating aspects of Gold Coast daily life, social customs and political dynamics are presented as part of this true life story that educates all levels of readers while being exceptionally entertaining.
Authors Trevor Getz and Liz Clarke have created an artistic and historical tour de force that succeeds both as a beautifully illustrated graphic novel and a comprehensive all-in-one teaching guide. The graphic illustrations depict emotional tension and conflict so realistically that the illustrated first half of this book will likely be read in one sitting. Several additional sections in this book provide aspiring forensic historians with just the right amount of background explanation and insight, so as to encourage development of a more discerning eye and mindset. Getz explains the scholarly process of constructing and deconstructing narratives from the past with such zest as to stimulate discussions about how one might recognize many examples of reading with and "against the grain" in order to see both what a person was trying to convey and what they were unintentionally communicating.
Abina and the Important Men is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of 19th century African Gold Coast, historical relationships between England and Africa, gender studies, how history is interpreted, and the topic of slavery.