The Door of No Return

Alexander, K.
Set in 1860 in colonial Ghana during the Atlantic slave trade, readers meet eleven-year-old Kofi Offin. Although he is a typical young man, his life takes a turn when his village is in conflict with another, resulting in Kofi’s capture, enslavement, and torturous journey as he is forced on a ship to the Americas along with other enslaved Africans. Intended as the first book of an eventual trilogy, this book uses literary devices such as repetition, symbolism, imagery, rhythm, rhyme, as well as African symbols to engage visual learners. Suitable for middle and high school students, this novel lends itself as a class novel or for literature circles, where students can explore themes of family life, growing up, and being strong in the face of adversity. It is written in verse, and the text may prompt writing workshops using some of the exemplified techniques. Teachers may use the book as a departure point for historical research, exploring the landmarks and locations associated with the Atlantic slave trade and the history of colonialism in Africa.
English Language Arts
  • 6-12