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Frederick Douglass Hardcover – March, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The success of this penetrating book lies in Miller's (Zora Hurston and the China-berry Tree) ability to convincingly convey the abolitionist Frederick Douglass's thoughts and feelings during his formative years as a plantation slave; and in Miller's focus on the limited?and pivotal?period of youth. The result is a searing, personal story that is easily absorbed by young readers, introduced to Douglass as a child whose mother is sold to a distant master: "Frederick tried to understand, but when he thought of his mother, tears and more tears came into his eyes." This lyrical account underscores Douglass's compassion and concern for his peers: as he watches an overseer whip another slave, he "felt the blows on his back, on the back of all the slaves who stood beside him." In an impressive picture book debut, Lucas contributes warmly textured artwork, rendered in pastels on paper treated with pumice and gesso. These illustrations reinforce the sense of Douglass's remarkable endurance, determination and humanity. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?Although much has been written about Douglass, little has been directed at young readers. This book goes a long way toward filling this gap. It focuses on one of the most dramatic events in his life: the moment when, as a slave, he summoned up the strength to stand up to his white overseer. Douglass abhorred slavery, but could find no way to escape; yet he was unable to bring himself to accept his situation. He had learned to read, but this knowledge only set him apart from his fellow slaves, and added to his discontent. Miller's narrative is movingly rendered, allowing readers to experience the dilemma facing the young man. Lucas's pictures, done in pastel on paper treated with pumice and gesso, bring the well-told and very human account to life. The mood they create is dark and brooding, with a hint of violence lurking on every page. Youngsters will relate to the story's powerful message about the meaning of physical and spiritual freedom.?Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Library Binding edition (March 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880000172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880000175
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,580,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the worst illustrated biography for children I've ever read. Let me first say that the illustrations are beautiful... but the book, like the previous reviewer said, is full of inaccuracies. Frederick Douglass did not spend his days working in the fields, and he did not wear overalls. The author states that he had little leisure time and only one day a week... Douglass himself states in his Narrative that slave children such as himself had much time free because they were too young to work as adults did. They wore little clothing- basically only shirts- because pants were for adults. He also spent much of his childhood and adolescence in Baltimore, not on a plantation. There are further inaccuracies. The author did not do adequate research for this book, or did and ignored it.

It's a fine slave story... but for the author to pass it off as Douglass' story is wrong. The one star rating goes to the nice illustrations.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1999
Format: Turtleback
Am I the only one who knows that Mr. Douglass lost his mother at an early age and that contrary to this book, she was not a major influence in his life? The author didn't do his homework. This book is full of inaccuracies about Douglass' life.
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By Berit on July 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy to understand, but not shirking the harsh reality that Fredrick Douglas faced. The illustrations were tasteful and not too graphic. I would recommend it for children six and up.
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By L. Henry on April 7, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Son got a hint of slavery as a child. this was great
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