Escape from Slavery: the Boyhood of Frederick Douglass in His Own Words: The Boyhood of Frederick Douglass in His Own Words

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Illus. in black-and-white. Opening note by Coretta Scott King. For the first time, the most important account ever written of a childhood in slavery is accessible to young readers. From his days as a young boy on a plantation to his first months as a freeman in Massachusetts, here are Douglass's own firsthand experiences vividly recounted--expertly excerpted and powerfully illustrated.

A shortened autobiography presenting the early life of the slave who became an ...

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Overview

Illus. in black-and-white. Opening note by Coretta Scott King. For the first time, the most important account ever written of a childhood in slavery is accessible to young readers. From his days as a young boy on a plantation to his first months as a freeman in Massachusetts, here are Douglass's own firsthand experiences vividly recounted--expertly excerpted and powerfully illustrated.

A shortened autobiography presenting the early life of the slave who became an abolitionist, journalist, and statesman.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her brief foreword to this significant book, an abridgment of the first of three autobiographies penned by the one-time slave and abolitionist, Coretta Scott King notes that her late husband was ``inspired and deeply moved'' by Douglass's account of his early years. It is easy to see why, for the reader becomes utterly involved in Douglass's eloquent, quietly passionate account of his life as a young slave. Born in Maryland around 1817, Douglass lived on a plantation with his grandparents until the age of six, when he was sent to Baltimore. He served a variety of masters, working intermittently in the city and on farms, and vacillated between feeling ``wearied in body and broken in spirit'' and being fiercely determined to flee to freedom. Douglass's dream was realized in 1838, when he escaped to the North and found work as a caulker in New Bedford, Mass. The preservation of Douglass's original vocabulary, spelling and punctuation lends this trenchant account a formality unfamiliar to today's youngsters, yet the passage of 150 years has not rendered it any less immediate or piercing. McCurdy's distinctive woodcuts emphasize his subjects' vulnerability and their dignity. Ages 9-up. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In 1845, Douglass wrote an autobiographical account of his years as a slave. In an attempt to make the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass more accessible to children, McCurdy has edited and illustrated it, rearranging only a few paragraphs for ``clarity.'' Unfortunately, this results in a choppy text that lacks the smooth-flowing ease of the eloquent original. In eliminating details of the young man's masters and family, as well as many references to dates and ages, much of the story's impact is lost, not to mention Douglass's effortless blending of history and social commentary. Most notably absent are his repeated comments about how ``religious'' slaveowners were often among the cruelest and most heartless. McCurdy prefaces each chapter with brief commentary, some of which switches confusingly from past to present tense. His stylized woodcuts attractively foreshadow events in that chapter, and an epilogue explains Douglass's escape. This abridgement may lead children to read the complete Narrative; however, Patricia and Frederick McKissack's biography (Childrens, 1987) will be a more likely enticement.-Sandy Kirkpatrick, Benicia Public Library, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679846512
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 5 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.49 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.26 (d)

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