Dr. Joe’s Classes Writing Can Be This Fun! Jan. 12, 2014
Some people say, “What Dr. Joe introduces in the open class, I can also find and read them myself.” Yes, you can. But the question is – Will You? Human beings are social animals, especially in today’s webbed global village. I bet nobody would read those materials if it were not for a fun socializing class online like this. Not to mention my intensive classes where you can learn a lot found in nowhere else.
Important Writings In every session of this series of Important Writings,we focus on the author(s), the background, the synopsis, and the status/influence of one selected writing to prepare and equip the students for the age-specific writing classes, which are custom-designed, result-oriented, and highly intensive.
Today we will discuss this one: Amos Fortune, Free Man Elizabeth Yates
Elizabeth Yates (Dec. 6, 1905 – Jul. 29, 2001) was a prolific American author of over forty books for children. Her husband William (in 1951) wrote of Elizabeth: "She has plenty of courage, a strong faith and a native expectancy of good. Living with her is a high adventure.“ A life of adventure can begin quietly enough. Elizabeth Yates was born in New York and her first story making occurred on the back of her horse Bluemose during long rides through the countryside. 1. Author and Writing Background
In 1926, determined to be an author she moved to New York City to launch her writing career. She undertook a variety of assignments: reviewing books, writing short stories, and doing research. When she married William McGreal they moved to England where her first book was published. In 1939, the McGreals returned to the United States and settled on an old farm in New Hampshire.
Amos Fortune, Free Man is a biographical novel by Elizabeth Yates that won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1951. It is about a young African prince, who when people come and attack his tribe, is captured and taken to America as a slave. He masters a trade, frees himself by his own efforts and dies a respected citizen.
2. The Synopsis At-mun, a young African prince, lives a peaceful life until a raid on their village by slavers kills his father, the chief. At-mun is kidnapped and sold in New England. Now called 'Amos', he is sold to a man named Caleb Copeland, and though the Copeland family do not treat him badly he rejects his slave status and determines to earn his freedom. He comes to an arrangement with Copeland, but when Caleb dies in debt the arrangement is disregarded, and so Amos is sold again to a man named Ichabod Richardson.
Richardson teaches Amos about tanning, and he becomes a skilled worker. He is now about thirty. Amos works for Richardson for four years, then buys his freedom. He marries a woman named Lily, whose freedom he also buys; but she dies a year later. Amos is sad that she died, yet happy she died a free person. Later he marries another African woman named Lydia, and it takes three more years to save up her freedom price. Lydia dies a year later. Again, Amos is sad she died but happy that she died free. He marries a
younger woman named Violet, and he buys freedom for her daughter too. Amos moves to Jaffrey, New Hampshire to start his own tanning business there, and does so despite opposition. Eventually Amos saves up enough money that he buys his own land and he builds a house and a barn. At one point Amos becomes very angry with his wife, who has taken money from him. He climbs a mountain and doesn't
leave until he gets an answer from God. Eventually he receives his answer and climbs back down, then forgives his wife as she is sorry for stealing his money. She had done it to keep him from helping a woman named Lois who needed help to keep her children from being taken away. She was lazy and wouldn't support her children,but Amos had pity on her. He decides against helping her and keeps the money. Amos goes to buy the land that he has always wanted. They buy the land and they build a house before winter. They also build a place where Amos can work as a tanner. At this point in his life, he is 80 years old.
The book is based on the life of the real Amos Fortune, who was born free in Africa in around the year 1695 and who died free in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, in 1801.
3. The Status and Influence Yates' novel, Amos Fortune, Free Man, received the Newbery Medal, the inaugural William Allen White Children's Book Award, and the Herald Tribune Award. Elizabeth Yates' books have been described as "the result of extensive research, a strong underlying belief in God, and a vivid imagination."
An Excerpt AFRICA 1725 • NIGHT CAME DOWN SWIFTLY over the equatorial forest. There was no lingering of daylight; but, after the snuffing out of the sun, darkness and the bright appearing of stars. No silence came with the darkness, for this was a night alive with song and movement. In the village of the At-mun-shi the people were gathering for their mystic dance that would welcome in the time of herbage, the time for the planting of corn. (end of paragraph)
Into the center of the clearing surrounded by small conical huts that was the village, a wooden drum had been brought. With solemn reverence Saala, the old wise man of the tribe, approached and began beating it. It was not long the only sound in the darkness. Soon smaller drums in distant parts of the clearing took up a beating.Then wooden flutes joined in from the outskirts of the village. Their sound was muted at first but it grew sharper and higher as the men blowing the flutes came nearer. Joined by the beaters on the drums,
the sound quickened in pace and fervor as all gathered in a group around the great drum, coming into time with Saala's rhythmic beating. The moon rose high enough for the light to filter through the heavy foliage. It gleamed on the black bodies of the men, on the faces of the women and children who had been gathering in the clearing, summoned by the music and swaying with it like a field of tall grass before the wind. (end of paragraph)
When the flutes and the drums ceased, all the At-mun-shi turned and faced the same way, making obeisance to their chief who sat on a raised platform at one end of the clearing, the moon full on him and his children standing beside him. At-mun, the young prince, was tall and powerfully built, though he had seen no more than fifteen summers. He carried his head high and his eyes flashed. Ath-mun, the twelve-year-old
princess, smiled shyly at her tribes- people, then turned to whisper in her father's ear. She leaned against him, hoping to hide the deformed leg that-but for her father's love– would have caused her to have been drowned as an infant. Only the sacrifice of the imperfect to the God of Life could assure protection for the perfect. But the chief had gone against his tribal code and sacrificed
his favorite dog to keep his infant daughter and thus far the God of Life had wreaked no vengeance on him. The At-mun-shi were as pagan as all the tribes in Africa, but they were peaceable and they were, as well, intense in their love of freedom. (end of paragraph)
The chief acknowledged the obeisance of his people and spread his hands before them, palms down, indicating that they might do their own pleasure for the next space of time. The people stood quietly while more and more of the At-mun-shi came in from the jungle to join the group in the clearing. At the outskirts of the village, beyond the circle of conical huts, they laid down their knives and spears. The weapons,
lying in their piles without men to • hold them, gave back the moonlight's sheen in harmless splendor. This was a • night of peace and during it no At-mun-shi would bear anything symbolic of • killing. This was the time when the earth was reborn. (end of paragraph)
Age-Specific Class Coverage (Big Schedule) 1. Vocabulary 2. Sentences 3. Paragraphs 4. Composition 5. Parts of Speech
6. Punctuation 7. Format 8. Spelling 9. Diction 10. Research and Writing 11. Writing Exercises 12. Writing Critique (Classics Appreciation + Writing Samples Analysis)
Please email us for class slides, recordings, and other info. We will help you. For class enrollment: firstname.lastname@example.org For writing skills and other studying issues: DrJoeWriting@gmail.com Our website is: www.chinacanadausa.com
Ever since Dr. Joe started his writing classes, this sphere of education has been different because he is the one who wants to join the hands of the learners to change the world.