Soon to be a Showtime limited series starring Ethan Hawke
Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction
A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year
From the bestselling author of The Color of Water, Song Yet Sung, Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography, comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown's antislavery crusadeand who must pass as a girl to survive.
Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave townwith Brown, who believes he's a girl.
Over the ensuing months, Henrywhom Brown nicknames Little Onionconceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.
An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride's meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.