Firebrand - Aaron Barnhart
These maps show the world as August Bondi knew it, first as a youth in Vienna (where he was known and Anschl), then in the USA.

Firebrand - Aaron Barnhart

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What the experts say:

“This likable, teen-friendly novel ably resurrects a historical figure who participated in the abolitionist struggle there.” Kirkus Reviews


“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


Benjamin Franklin Award for Juvenile Fiction

Recommended by the Jewish Book Council

1848. August Bondi has fought a tyrant, seen his best friend gunned down, and fled his homeland. And he’s only 15.

The Bondi family has fled their native Austria for the United States. Now, as their ship arrives at New Orleans, August gets his first glimpse of the “land of the free” — slavery!

In Kansas the young Jewish freedom fighter joins forces with a mighty Christian warrior named John Brown. August believes in the ballot over the bullet. Old Brown, however, sees himself as an instrument of divine vengeance.

August believes in John Brown’s cause. And he’s a hard man to say “no” to. What will August do?

Aaron says:

For my first novel, I used real-life episodes from August Bondi’s amazing life taken from his self-published Autobiography and an earlier novelization of his life, Border Hawk, by Newbery Medal-winning author Lloyd Alexander. I am delighted that this book has gotten such a powerful response from readers both young and older.

Aaron at Drummond Montessori in Chicago

Above: Aaron at Drummond Elementary in Chicago