Over the past few days I read Mozay of Pepperwick by Jean Perry.
This historical fiction novel follows Mozay Dies, a teenager and slave, in 1853 South Carolina. Born into slavery on the Pepperwick Plantation, the largest rice plantation in South Carolina owned by the Little family, Mozay is around the same age as the master’s son, Clarence. The mistress of the house wanted Mozay to be a companion to Clarence so Mozay sat in on Clarence’s classes and subsequently learned how to read, write, and was generally educated.
Despite being more fortunate than many of the other slaves at Pepperwick, Mozay dreams of becoming free, living up north in a place like New York, and going to school. But is it a possibility or a far fetched dream?
Over the course of a few months, Mozay’s life changes a lot – traveling with the Littles to Charleston, he is rented out because he is a good worker and educated, meeting all new people, and getting closer to freedom as he goes along.
Mozay of Pepperwick is a great read for anyone, but I think it’s especially insightful for middle school aged readers. It’s a great story about Mozay, who never gave up on his dream to become free, and is such an interesting and frustrating look at the time of slavery.
*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*