Nobody free till everybody free.
Moa, a fourteen-year-old slave, gets caught up in the most significant slave rebellion in Jamaican history, paying homage to freedom fighters all over the world.
“Wheatle brings the struggle of slavery in the Jamaican sugar cane fields to life … A refreshing and heartbreaking story that depicts both a real-life uprising against oppression and the innate desire to be free. Highly recommended.”
—School Library Journal, STARRED review
Alex Wheatle is a finalist for the 2021 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature!
“Tension-filled and heart-stopping, a work of edgy brilliance that brims with existential fervor … Excellent.”
—Kaieteur News (Guyana)
”The risks that this child and the men in this book take in order to gain their freedom is both admirable and heart breaking at the same time. The desire to just be able to live without fear and to be able to just enjoy the basic acts of life.”
--Reader Then Blogger
«Black Sheep stands tall with Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle, following Moa, an enslaved 14-year-old in 1760s Jamaica who is recruited by rebels to fight in the slave rebellion called Tacky's War.”
—Publishers Weekly, included in Sneak Previews for Fall 2020
“Alex Wheatle writes from a place of honesty and passion, with the full knowledge and understanding that change can only happen through words and actions.”
—Steve McQueen, Academy Award–winning film director
“This is a vital part of British and Jamaican history brought vividly to life. Alex Wheatle has reclaimed our ancestors and given them the voice they were denied.”
—Catherine Johnson, author and screenwriter
“The importance of this book cannot be overstated. Alex Wheatle takes the truth and creates fiction to illuminate that truth. He too is a warrior—a word warrior. I saw my ancestors in this book, and now I know that Alex and I really are brothers.”
—Benjamin Zephaniah, author of Gangsta Rap
«Though it is a work of fiction, Cane Warriors is rooted in reality, the horrors of colonialism, and the subjugation of a people, which provides an educational experience for the reader with the turning of each crisp page . . . Cane Warriors serves as an inspiring but also sobering reminder that the fight for survival spans across centuries and is very much ongoing. And it is not about the survival of a lone individual, but rather the collective struggle, what that entails, and what it means.»
—Nadine White, news reporter, HuffPost UK
Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is toiling on the Frontier sugarcane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky. Moa is to be a cane warrior, and fight for the freedom of all the enslaved people in the nearby plantations. But before they can escape, Moa and his friend Keverton must face their first great task: to kill their overseer, Misser Donaldson. Time is ticking as the day of the uprising approaches . . .
Irresistible, gripping, and unforgettable, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica, 1760.