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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
This book is EXCEPTIONALLY well-written. The author exhibits an in-depth historical account of Frederick Douglas that is easily understood by children. I also recommend other books written by Ms. Ruffin.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.