Despite the fact that I talk The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: The Pox Party up all the time, I hadn't even thought about writing a review until I noticed Octavian Nothing winning an informal poll of teen services librarians for coolest male name. M.T. Anderson has created a book that is next to impossible to forget, even though sometimes you kinda wish you could.
Octavian has written his autobiography which takes place mostly in the Boston Area, before and during the Revolutionary War. He was raised with his mother (an African princess) in a big estate owned by a "scientific" group called the Novangalian College of Lucidity. Both were educated in literature, science, languages, you name it. At some point though Octavian realizes the other Africans in the household aren't treated as well as he is and it's probably not right that the College weighs his poop. (Seriously, they do that.) To the College's displeasure, he soon discovers the horrible truth behind the poop weighing and some gruesome(though historically accurate) horrors occur. Octavian then sets out to escape with the help of a sympathetic scholar and the start of the Revolutionary War may just help him find a new life.
The second volume, The Kingdom on the Waves, continues his story.
--The Stacked Librarian