- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (January 24, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060277092
- ISBN-13: 978-0060277093
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History Hardcover – January 24, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This picture book biography draws on Frederick Douglass's autobiographies to examine his motivations and his lasting impact on U.S. history. Using erasers and oil on board, Cooper conveys Douglass's determination, portraying him as strong and serious even as a child. The artwork depicts Douglass's growing awareness that a life outside of slavery might be possible. The events covered are well chosen to give young readers insight into the essence of his life and accomplishments. In a child-appropriate manner, the text describes beatings, but the illustrations do not show scars. When Douglass was 16, his owner realized that the teen's independent spirit might be problematic. The owner sent Douglass to another man, Edward Covey, whose mistreatment of slaves often caused them to back down. In a dramatic spread, Douglass is shown standing over Covey as the older man crouches on the ground, Douglass clearly the victor in their confrontation: an image that emphasizes the spirit that drove him to stand up for himself and other African Americans through the abolitionist movement. A time line provides context and further details about Douglass's life. VERDICT Although this title is similar in scope to Doreen Rappaport's Frederick's Journey, the two books complement each other. Recommended for collections looking to further explore Douglass's legacy.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
“Focused, informative writing and strong, effective illustrations combine to make this the go-to Frederick Douglass biography for younger students.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Young readers will certainly come away with an understanding of how one person, in spite of overwhelming odds, can make a difference. Cooper’s signature style brilliantly sings in clear and resounding volumes across every page....A posthumous title of distinction from [Myers].” (Kirkus Reviews)
“This picture book biography draws on Frederick Douglass’s autobiographies to examine his motivations and his lasting impact on U.S. history....The events covered are well chosen to give young readers insight into the essence of his life and accomplishments. Recommended for collections looking to further explore Douglass’s legacy.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“[A] stirring testament to the power of words and daring action to create change.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Douglass’s life story has a magisterial glow in this posthumous work from the esteemed Myers....Cooper’s realistic, slightly smudged art feels equally consequential, balancing dignity and emotion.” (New York Times Book Review)
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Myers draws a complete picture of Douglass here. He shows readers the differences between slavery and freedom with a clarity that is vastly helpful. He doesn’t linger on the violence of slavery but it is also not lessened or ignored. He strikes just the right balance for a young audience. As the book continues, one sees Douglass grow up, learn many things and then not only head to freedom himself but argue that slavery should be abolished. There is real courage on these pages, risks taken for a real life, and an understanding that Douglass himself was an incredible individual.
The illustrations by award-willing Cooper are exceptional. Done with erasers and oils on board, they have a beautiful texture to them, almost hazy with the historical significance of what they are depicting. There are images of love, others of violence, others of freedom newly found. As Douglass grows up on the pages he becomes more and more the icon visually as well.
Strong and important, this picture book biography is inspiring. Appropriate for ages 7-9.