Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War. Winner of the National Book Award, and a Michael L. Printz Honor winner. (Sequel: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, vol. II: Kingdom on the Waves)
Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists' unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.