Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story Hardcover – April 30, 2008
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From School Library Journal
Grade 3–7—Born and raised a slave in coastal South Carolina, Smalls worked on the docks, then learned shipbuilding and piloting. In an amazing feat of daring in 1862, he stole a Confederate ship by impersonating the captain, sent a rowboat to pick up waiting family members, sailed past five Confederate forts, and turned the ship over to Union troops blockading the area. Smalls became the first African-American captain of a United States vessel; he later served in the South Carolina legislature and the United States Congress. He was featured in Eloise Greenfield's collective biography How They Got Over (Amistad, 2003), but this book is an excellent vehicle to bring his story to a wider audience. Although presented in picture-book format, the text is detailed and there is a lot of it; the artistically beautiful but impressionistic images require some visual maturity from the audience. The oil paintings employ thick, bold strokes and deep saturated colors to convey Smalls's strength and determination in successfully delivering his and his crew's family members to freedom.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Halfmann focuses mostly on Smalls as a young slave whose master lets him work on the waterfront, and then on the planning of his secret escape to freedom. Spacious, impressionistic oil paintings accompany a text that describes Smalls, who, when the Civil War breaks out, uses his expert navigational skills and knowledge of the secret steam-whistle signals to guide his ship past harbor guards to escape with his family and crew. Suspense mounts as the women and children on the boat hide “in pindrop quiet” as their boat passes one, two, then three forts. When the boat finally reaches the Union side, the passengers must must prove that they are fugitives, not enemies. The strongly impressionistic art, largely in shades of brown and blue, will appeal most to older children; there are close-up portraits of Smalls studying charts and maps, and then open views of ocean and sky that speak to freedom. An afterword and source notes fill in Smalls’ important political role. . Grades 3-5. --Hazel Rochman
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I wish I could have read Halfmann's version (Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story) of the Robert Smalls (1839-1915) story of escaping from the Confederacy during the Civil War when I was 10 or 11. It would have fired my imagination and interest in the American Civil War much earlier.
Halfmann's version of the Smalls story is refreshingly accurate and very well written. The text moves along at a good pace. Unlike Kennedy's new book on Smalls (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s American Heroes: Robert Smalls, the Boat Thief), Halfmann is faithful to the true story in what she covers and what she has to omit for a children's audience.
A real surprise is the bibliography in the back of Halfmann's book which will serve the curious teacher and student well.
I would add one book to the reading list (for the teacher) that Halfmann does not cite as a source for her book: Yearning to Breathe Free: Robert Smalls of South Carolina and His Families, by Andrew Billingsley.
Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story book should be in every elementary school library in the United States.
"A hero is someone who with great courage and strength of heart considers the condition and needs of others. He or She may or may not be recognized for their deeds (and probably doesn't want to be recognized for them) because what they have done is what they believe is the right thing to do."
Seven Miles to Freedom is the story of African American Robert Smalls. Born a slave in 1839 to the McKee family in South Carolina this is the story of a slave who made something of himself and also made a difference in the lives of hundreds of slaves and future African Americans.
Written for children age 5+ Seven Miles to Freedom begins with the story of Robert Smalls's birth on his mother's master's estate and continues by explaining what slavery is in terms that a young child can understand. We see the type of work Robert Smalls grows up to do and the man he becomes. He is given much responsibility in his work as a wheelman, a position of trust and honor, because of his hard work, his honesty and because he applied himself to a job well done.
And finally you see in the story how Robert Smalls has a hope and a determination to find a way to freedom, for himself, his family, the crew and their families. Everyone trusted him to help them get to freedom, even at the risk of being caught.
The story doesn't stop with Robert Smalls's run for freedom over 7 Miles on the Charleston Bay but we also learn how he continued to fight for freedom for the newly released slaves long into the future. Robert Smalls truly made a difference in politics, taught himself to read and write and helped teach others how important Freedom truly is.
I strongly recommend that all families with children between 5 and 3rd/4th grades read this book. I personally wanted to share this one with you because I believe it's important for children of all ages to have a hero. A hero who stands up for what's right, what's honest and strives to help others. I also wanted to share this book as it's important for children to see that we can all have heroes - and heroes are made up of all races and all kinds of people.
Most recent customer reviews
I really like this telling of a true story but I don't care for the illustrations. The book is about a boy, Robert, who was born into slavery and dreamed of freedom.Read more
Seven Miles is the astonishing true story of Robert Smalls, an African-American who became one of the greatest heroes of the...Read more