CHARLES FULLER - Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright (A Soldier’s Play) and Academy
Award Nominated Screenwriter (A Soldier’s Story) Publishes His First Children’s Novel
“Spellbinding children’s adventure, set in antebellum New York…An edgy, atmospheric kids’ tale with some engaging history of black New York slipped into the excitement.” Discoveries/Kirkus Reviews
Nearly 40 years ago, Charles Fuller promised his two sons, Charles III and David Ira Fuller, that he would write a historical adventure story in which they would be the heroes. In his first children’s novel, SNATCH: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York (David and Me Publishing Inc.; June 2010; $14.95; 978-0-9844039-5-0), Fuller tells the fictional story of two brothers, David and Charles, who are free black children living in lower Manhattan’s Five Points neighborhood of antebellum New York City in 1838.
Last modified on Thursday, 17 June 2010 15:19
The Five Points area where David and Charles live and play is also known as the principal stop on the Underground Railroad in New York and is known to be one of the worst slums in the U.S. “Much of my career has been spent in the theater and film, but it’s always been a dream of mine to publish a novel for children, one filled with adventure and suspense,” Fuller explains. ““My intent was to write a story that would be entertaining for young readers, and at the same time deliver a major dose of history about African American life in the antebellum North.”
SNATCH begins with David and Charles meeting a fugitive slave named Freddie Johnson, while fishing in the Hudson River one day in September. The boys manage to help Freddie elude a gang of slave catchers led by a mysterious former slave named “Snatch.”
The gang is intent on returning escaped slaves and in some cases, even free blacks, back to the South into slavery for a bounty. Over the course of 36 hours, the two brothers engineer a wild chase and escape that takes readers through the streets and tunnels of Old New York, with the help of the “Brewery Witches,” a trio of girls from the neighborhood.
During their whirlwind adventure, the boys manage to involve the Five Points community, their parents, and the “Vigilance Committee”. And in doing so, they even come dangerously close to exposing the identity of “Snatch.” Dr. Marguerite Tiggs-Birt, Ed.D., and author of Mockingbird, Is That You? hails Fuller’s debut children’s novel as one which will appeal to a multitude of people, male and female, young and old.
“SNATCH has a rich vocabulary of dialect and traditional English grammar, its episodes are multi-layered and its characters are multifaceted…As an elementary and postsecondary reading teacher, I think that SNATCH provides story elements that are critical to literal, inferential, and analytical reading comprehension and appreciation.”
SNATCH is sure to be a wonderful, treasured addition to the bookshelves of literary enthusiasts who appreciate a novel filled with thrilling twists and turns with a good dose of American history. “Like so many things we begin, my career as a playwright and screenwriter began to demand my time, so writing this story became a dream deferred for nearly four decades.
However, my sons never forgot about my promise, and asked me over the years about when I would finish it. I’m proud to present a story which represents a promise fulfilled to my sons.”
Charles Fuller is available for interviews. Please contact Gilda Squire Media Relations at 212-928-8090 or
About the Author:
Charles Fuller is the author of A Soldier’s Play and the 1982 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Best American Play, New York Critics Circle Award, Edgar Allen Poe Award for Mystery Writing, and the 1985 Academy Award Nominee for Best Screenplay for the motion picture, A Soldier’s Story. After a long history in theater and film, SNATCH: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York, is Mr. Fuller’s first venture into the world of children’s books.