A young slave boy is named and numbered 47 on a nineteenth-century Georgia plantation and encounters the brutality and injustice of the system of slavery.47 meets a strange being named Tall John who appears to be another slave boy - a runaway. But as 47 comes to realise, John is an extraterrestrial visitor who believes that his destiny is intertwined with the young slave's. Tall John is a science fiction creation but he is also a reinterpretation of High John the Conqueror - a character taken from old slave myths about a spirit come from Africa to confound the slave masters and (ultimately) to free all slaves.
Walter Mosley is the bestselling author of Little Scarlet, Fear Itself, and Bad Boy Brawly Brown; the acclaimed Easy Rawlins series of mysteries; and other works of fiction and nonfiction. This is his first book for young adults.