The Saga of an American Family
A Story to Always Reflect On

By Alex Haley
USA, 1976
Historical Fiction

Main Attractions 
1. Multi Generational
Alex Haley 19762. Linked to other fabulous books
3. Fast-paced page turner
4. Rich Cultural Life pre-capture
5. Harrowing journey in the slave boat
6. Glimpse into daily life on a plantation
7. Follows the full life of the main character
8. Shows incredible cultural differences
9. Reveals language learning 
10. Powerful climax and resolution

Travel Advisory:

Some scenes are extremely graphic.  But if you need to, they can be skipped over.  I had to skip over some of the more extreme ones.  I am still haunted by them because I know what happened.  Skipping them didn’t hurt my understanding of the story.  I still feel very deeply for them and understand them very well.    

Cuisine & Delicacies

Ranked as: Lasagna or Hearty Casserole
No spoilers, I promise: This book begins with the main character as a child and follows him right up to manhood.  We see his life’s journey and daily struggles.  Haley is so detailed when chronicling what the characters experience.  By the end, you’re sure to love the characters.

It’s so raw and realistic so I’m sure you’ll be asking questions.  Some questions I’m still asking, How can the slave traders act like that?  How can Kunte Kinte exist in this world?  What are they going to do now?  

Off the Beaten Path

Here is a movie trailer for 12 Years a Slave, it’s based on a book.  I loved the movie but haven’t read the book… yet.

12 Years a Slave Directed By Steve MeQueen
Based on the book memoir by Solomon Northup (1853)

Recommended Resources:

Alternate Books
✓ The African By Harold Courlander (1967) - Parts of Roots plagiarized from this book, there was a major plagiarism lawsuit. The African is the original.
✓ Uncle Tom’s Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852) - Possibly inspired the American Civil War and had a strong influence on the anti-slavery movement.

Film Adaptations
✓ 1977, Distributed by ABC-TV and Warner Bros. Television - Fairly close to the novel, left out some bits but it keeps the original spirit.

✓ 2016, Distributed by The History Channel and Wolper Organization/Will Packer Productions