1848. The Bondi family is leaving for a better life in America. But 15-year-old Anschl doesn’t want to go. He’s found his life’s purpose in Vienna, fighting on the barricades against a tyrant king. But Anschl is about to confront an even more monstrous evil in his adopted land — slavery — and the fight will take him to Kansas and the army of the notorious John Brown. Based on a true story. More
“Likable, teen-friendly novel, accessible and historically rigorous.” — Kirkus Reviews
1848. The Bondi family is leaving for a better life in America. But 15-year-old Anschl doesn’t want to go. He’s found his life’s purpose in Vienna, fighting on the barricades against a tyrant king. In America, Anschl tries to put his past behind him, changing his name to August and seeking adventure aboard a Texas riverboat. But there is a new tyranny in his adopted land called slavery, and its presence all around him rekindles the fire in the young freedom fighter. It leads him to Kansas Territory and the adventure of his life alongside the notorious abolitionist John Brown.
Action-packed narrative and contemporary dialogue shed new light on questions of race, violence, and conscience that kids confront today. Includes a factual preface and epilogue with two pages of maps to immerse readers in Bondi’s world.
“August Bondi may be a little-known Jewish hero, but this fictionalized story of his life, based on his autobiography, details what an interesting and adventurous life he led.” — AJL Reviews, Association of Jewish Libraries
“Readers will relate to August's struggles. A good title for school libraries looking to expand their U.S. historical fiction collections.” — School Library Journal
Firebrand is based on “Border Hawk: August Bondi,” a story by Newbery and National Book Award winner Lloyd Alexander.
Aaron Barnhart’s previous historical work was praised for “taking the complex … and rendering it reader-friendly” (Kansas City Star). Now Aaron has reimagined August’s amazing story to inspire a new generation of readers.
Available ebook formats: