Friday, 2 August 2013



Kofi and the climbing boy is new historical novel by Mike Healey. It is set in 1765 and features the adventures of two young boys.

Rival tribes in Guyana capturing slaves

One (Kofi) is a black child, enslaved in West Africa (Guyana) and bought to Jamaica where he learns to cut sugar cane.

He is later  separated from his mother in Jamaica and taken by sea to Cumberland (UK) where he becomes servant to a wealthy woman. He has become a blackamoor.

 Slaves on board ship ('Middle Passage') on journey to Jamaica

The other central character is Jack Fisher, a scrawny child of seven years old. 

He is sold to a Master Sweep by his mother for the price of a flagon of gin. He is trained as a sweep and one day  gets stuck up a chimney at Buckingham House, the new home of King George III and his young wife, Charlotte.

Although they try to 'smoke 'im out', Jack survives this ordeal and secretly lives up that chimney for the next six weeks, coming out at night to steal food and drink  - and anything else he can lay his grubby hands on.
What happens when the two boys eventually meet, run riot in the palace at night and finally escape is what this novel is really about.

London's 'Gin Lane' - Hogarth

It is also about slavery, child exploitation and abuse and the friendship that can be forged even in such troubled times.

Please revisit this blog soon for new updates, sample chapters and an account of how I came to write this extraordinary novel

Mike Healey