“Through the eyes of a child, M. C. Finotti is able to seamlessly weave a captivating fictional tale into the unbelievable but true history of the Kingsley family.” -Carmen Godwin, Director, Amelia Island Museum of History
“Nothing brings the past to life like historical fiction, and M.C. Finotti has breathed life into Ana Jai Kingsley in a way that finally gives this remarkable woman her due.”-Tricia Booker, Folio Weekly
Accelerated Reader Quiz #129357. Level 5.3
Winner of the Florida Historical Society’s Horgan Award, The Treasure of Amelia Island focuses on eleven-year-old Mary Kingsley, daughter of historical figure Ana Jai Kingsley.
It is December 1813. Mary and her family live in La Florida, a Spanish territory under siege by Patriots of the United States of America. The Patriots want to force Spain out of the land it has ruled for nearly three hundred years. Mary is the youngest child of former slave Ana Jai. Her white father freed Mary and the rest of the family, but the Patriots don’t care. They see no place for freed people of color in a new Florida and want to make Mary’s family slaves again. Against these mighty events, Mary decides to search for a legendary pirate treasure with her brother, George, and her half-brother, Diego. This treasure hunt, filled with danger and recklessness, changes Mary forever.
The Kingsley family actually existed in this era. Zephaniah Kingsley married the African slave Ana Jai. He freed her and their three children and they lived at a plantation that you can visit today in northeast Florida.
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