The Slave Dancer
by Paula Fox
Newbery Medal 1974
A young boy from New Orleans is impressed into the crew of a slave trader and witnesses first hand the horrors of human capture and bondage... not light reading for a fun book group, but not overly heavy either; there is always a spark of awareness and independence in the boy to let us study the other characters and the slave situation without being overwhelmed.
I seem to be on a sea theme lately, maybe there's a cruise in my future (but I guess that would mean there would be pirates, shipwrecks, rats and scurvy too, so let's hope not...)