|Frederick Douglass : the lion who wrote history|
Author: Myers, Walter Dean
A picture book biography of the great Frederick Douglass, a self-educated slave in the South who grew up to become an icon.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: .5 Quiz: 188337
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 71186
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (11/01/16)
Booklist (+) (10/15/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2016 *Starred Review* The opening paragraph of this posthumous picture-book biography from Myers states its theme as “how one man’s careful decisions and many accomplishments not only made his own life better but in many ways changed the history of America.” Written in a clean, direct style, the text consistently supports the book’s thesis. Born into slavery, Frederick was learning to read as a child, taught by his owner’s wife, until her husband objected. The boy decided to learn on his own, and he did. Later, hired out to work in shipyards, he met free black sailors. He resolved to escape from slavery, and he did that, too. Later, asked to speak and to write about his life, he did, becoming famous for his autobiography and his speeches on abolition and women’s rights. In 1863, he urged Lincoln to enlist black Americans in the Union army. Two years later, the war ended and the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery. From the book jacket image of a reflective, forceful young man to the dynamic portrayals of Douglass at different stages of his life, Cooper’s expressive artwork shows him thinking through issues and acting with conviction. Focused, informative writing and strong, effective illustrations combine to make this the go-to Frederick Douglass biography for younger students. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2016 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 - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.