Frederick Douglass: Rising Up from Slavery (Sterling Biographies Series)by Frances E Ruffin
From slave to freedom fighter: that was the long and hard journey taken by Frederick Douglass. Douglass was America’s first great civil rights leader, and he threw off the physical, mental, and legal chains of slavery to become one of America’s greatest champions for human rights. It was said that his life was proof that once black people could read and write about their injustices, they would have the power to end slavery. Frances E. Ruffin explores this inspiring figure in all his complexity, and captures the hardships, prejudice, and violence Douglass endured as he fought for justice. Numerous fascinating illustrations, photos, and engravings show Douglass’s family, abolition meetings, Civil War battles, freed blacks getting their first vote, and more.
Gr 7-9- Three individuals who made long-lasting contributions to African-American history are profiled in these biographies. Each one starts with background information on its subject. Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass were slaves who escaped to freedom, and Malcolm X had a harsh early life and turned to crime until his conversion to Islam in prison. The texts go on to describe the subjects' later lives (in Malcolm X , this includes some mature themes), including their striving for freedom and working for African-American rights, and also mention their legacies and impact on subsequent generations. These are balanced portrayals of real people and the controversies surrounding them. For example, Douglass was criticized by both blacks and whites for marrying a white woman after his first wife died. The narratives are sometimes a bit long and rambling, especially Tubman . However, a time line, glossary, and index will help report writers extract essential facts. The books include black-and-white and color photographs and illustrations, and informative sidebars about related events and people. Anne Schraff's Frederick Douglass (2002) and Harriet Tubman (2001, both Enslow) present the same information just as clearly, if not more succinctly. However, these new biographies are more colorful and attractively designed. Walter Dean Myers's Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary (Scholastic, 1993) remains one of the best biographies written for young people, but it is a bit longer and not as appealingly presented as this work. Additional.-Kristen Oravec, Stephen S. Wise Elementary School, Los Angeles
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