This picture book uses dramatic double-page oil paintings (by Frank Morrison) and a text of rhyming couplets to tell the story of 'Amazing Grace', the hymn composed by John Newton, a retired British sailor and minister of the Church. It tells how his life was transformed when the slave ship he was serving on survived a terrible storm, leading him to regret his amoral and lawless past and to reawaken the faith he had known as a child. In retirement he trains as a minister and becomes an abolitionist, preaching against the trade he was once part of. The words to the hymn he penned would go on to cross the seas to North America to become an ever more popular song, first
adopted by enslaved people, later by human rights campaigners, gospel singers and, most famously, sung by Barack Obama on an occasion commemorating lives lost in a church shooting. An afterword gives the full lyrics and more information about the song's genesis and subsequent spread.