It’s the early 18th century, and 12-year-old Oliver Cromwell Pitts has been convicted of thievery and sentenced to seven years of forced labor. Oliver is sent from England to the American colonies, where he is put to work by a brutal tobacco farmer. His only friend is Bara, an enslaved boy. Unlike Oliver, Bara will not be freed after seven years. The choice is clear: The boys must escape.
During this period in history, both adults and children often suffered harsh punishments for minor crimes. The End of the World and Beyond, the latest novel by AVI (pictured), explores this side of America’s past. “This is an important thing that happened, but which no one really knows about,” he told TFK Kid Reporter Josh Lee.