Harriet Beecher Stowe was a woman living well before her times. Born into a large family lead by a strict father, Stowe was raised to believe in the strict Puritan beliefs that her father taught from his pulpit. The family moved to Cincinnati in the late 1820s, much closer to slave states than their home in New England; and while the time spent in Cincinnati exposed Stowe to the dangers associated with slavery, it would be many more years before she would be encouraged to write Uncle Tom's Cabin. Though she wrote poetry when she was young, she was also greatly discouraged from writing. After Stowe's marriage, she was no longer constrained by her parent's strict philosophy and was able to write stories and poetry that allowed her to contribute to the household income. Stowe's life is fascinating but no less so than the history of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Elliot provides not only commentary on Stowe, but delves into the way that society has viewed the novel since it was first written and especially after it was adapted for performance. The text is full of illustrations from Stowe's life as well as reproductions of art presented in several editions of the novel and is part of the "Voices for Freedom; Abolitionist Heroes" series. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8–Detailed and completely readable, these titles provide thoughtful examinations of an important era in American history. While the information is available elsewhere, these books stand out because they are accessible and engaging. The writing is lively, drawing readers into the drama of the anti-slavery movement, and the accompanying photographs, illustrations, maps, and primary-source reproductions combine with the texts to make a quality package.