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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 5 to 9.
Written in simple, declarative sentences, this title will be a welcome addition (at the elementary level) to the body of literature about this inspiring man. Raised as a slave, Frederick Bailey suffered many extreme hardships until he was given to the Auld family in Baltimore, MD. Mrs. Auld had even begun to teach him to read until her husband forbade her to do so; it was against the law in many states to teach a slave to read. Despite this set-back, Frederick was highly motivated to continue his learning and asked for help whenever he could. From reading old newspapers he came to know that many did not believe in slavery and he was encouraged to flee to the north. Even in New York City he did not feel safe; so he and his new wife moved to New Bedford, MA, where he changed their names to Douglass to make it harder for slave catchers to find them. In Massachusetts he became friends with a group of abolitionists and began speaking at Abolitionist's meetings. His orations were powerful and thought provoking, as were his writings. In fact he went on to publish books and founded three newspapers, thus influencing many people around the nation. After the Civil War, he was appointed as the U.S. Marshall of Washington D.C. Such a high-level, federal post had never been held by an African-American before Frederick Douglass served his country in that position. The illustrations are subdued and very appropriate for supporting the text and conveying a sense of the history contained in this title. The back matter includes a time line, "Did You Know?" facts, a glossary, FactHound web site information, a short bibliography, and an index. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan