Frederick Douglass: His Life and Times

by Nancy Bo Flood on January 6, 2013

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Frederick Douglass for Kids  This biography tells the surprising tale of one of America’s true heroes.  Clear and interesting prose is peppered with enough details to intrigue a child reader as well as most adults. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, taken from his mother, but then risked his life many times to become free, become educated and then to help others gain freedom.  Douglass became a bestselling author, editor, and orator, famous on both sides of the Atlantic.  Abraham Lincoln invited Douglass to the White House for counsel. Harriet Beecher Stowe sought his advice.  Ida B. Wells collaborated with Douglass to write a pamphlet that described how racism kept Blacks from becoming participants in the World’s Exposition in Chicago.  Susan B. Anthony stood at Douglass’s funeral to read a letter of thanks and praise from Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  The text is true to history and filled with suspense, adventure, and acts of courage as Douglass fought to to be free in the many meanings of that word.

Wonderful activities are part of each of the seven chapters.  There are directions for cooking a New England boiled dinner, sewing a carpetbag or a haversack, participating in a microlending program, sculpting a statue, or forming a debating club.  Sidebars throughout the book weave in related information, such as songs, poems and quotes from contemporary historical figures and publications. Archival photographs add images of people, places and historical artifacts.

I sat down to look over this book and couldn’t put it down.   The author, Nancy I. Sanders, swoops the reader back in time and into the heart and head of Frederick Douglass, a true hero.   Sanders has also authored AMERICA’S BLACK FOUNDERS; A KID’S GUIDE TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY; and D IS FOR DRINKING GOURD.

Chicago Review Press, 2012, distributed by IPG.



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