Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History. Walter Dean Myers. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. 2017. HarperCollins. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: This is the story of 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.

Premise/plot: This is a picture book biography of Frederick Douglass by Walter Dean Myers.

My thoughts: I enjoyed the narrative very much. Douglass' story is compelling, and, I believe Myers was able to do it justice.
Frederick watched as the Auld children received an education. He listened as they excitedly shared their ideas and dreams with friends. Theirs sounded like a good life, and he wanted the same chance to build a good life for himself.
If learning to read would make him unfit to be a slave, then that's what Frederick would do: He made the courageous decision to learn to read. It would be very difficult, because slaves were not allowed to go to school or have books to practice reading. When he could, he borrowed books from the young white friends he sometimes played with. He picked up old newspapers and flyers he found in the street. Anything that contained precious words was important to Frederick.
Not only could he tell of his experiences, but he could speak with an eloquence that stirred the souls of his audience. Douglass was often asked by the abolitionist society to speak at their meetings. Some people who heard him could hardly believe that he had ever been a slave. They wondered if all the black people working in the fields or on Southern plantations had the potential of this tall and handsome young man.
The careful and wise decisions made by Frederick Douglass--to learn to read, to escape from slavery, to speak out for justice for all Americans, and to aid the Union Army--had helped to write American history.

In telling Douglass' story, much of American history is touched upon. These are complex not simple subjects, yet, they're clearly and concisely presented to young readers.

I also really LOVED the illustrations.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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