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Liberty or Death: The Surprising Story of Runaway Slaves who Sided with the British During the American Revolution Hardcover – January 12, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—In 1775, when British loyalist Lord Dunmore of Virginia issued a proclamation promising that escaped slaves who agreed to fight for the British could earn their freedom, hundreds of desperate men, women, and children answered the call. Riveting portrayals of famous battles and harrowing sea adventures, along with stories of slaves' ingenuity, the crucial part they played on both sides of the war, their fight to be compensated as they were promised, and, most importantly, their valiant efforts to seize their freedom highlight this little-known chapter of American history. Historical documentation such as certificates of freedom, emancipation proclamations, and reproductions of 18th-century oil paintings and drawings appear throughout. Personal quotes and anecdotes help to reveal the slaves' resolve and hopefulness and explain the difficult choices they made in regard to which side to ally themselves.—Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In too many American history books for young people, the role of African Americans in the Revolutionary War begins and ends with Crispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre. Blair provides a well-researched account of slaves in Virginia who, beginning in 1775, fled to the British. The royal governor of the colony hoped to put down the rebellion in part by offering freedom to slaves of rebels (but not of loyalists) who would flee their masters and fight for the British side. Foraging, fighting, spying, and working as laborers, they risked their lives for liberty, and many of them died. At the war’s end, the British transported some 3,000 former slaves to Nova Scotia, and later sent nearly half of those to a new settlement in Sierra Leone. Though told in a matter-of-fact tone, the story is often heart-wrenching: the slaves, offered freedom for strategic rather than moral reasons, died in great numbers, and those who survived were promised benefits that never fully materialized. Colorful reproductions of period paintings, prints, and documents illustrate the clearly written text. Back matter includes a time line, source notes, and lists of recommended books, places to visit, and Web sites. A fine and singular addition to American history collections. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1160L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books; First Edition edition (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426305907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426305900
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is designed for the younger reader, but as an adult I enjoyed it very much. The graphic layout is outstanding, the illustrations are wonderful and the book is written simply but with feeling.

I learned a lot about persons and events during the Revolutionary War that I had never even heard of.

I'm so glad I purchased this book. I hope others who are interested in what happened to the black slaves who ran away to the British side will read this book. It is so very well done, a real pleasure to read. I couldn't stop reading until I had finished it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for to read as a beginning of further research on the subject.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't remember it.
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