Cover image for Frederick Douglass : the lion who wrote history
Title:
Frederick Douglass : the lion who wrote history
ISBN:
9780060277093
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
34 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm.
Genre:
Added Author:
Summary:
Frederick Douglass was a self-educated slave in the South who grew up to become an icon. He was a leader of the abolitionist movement, a celebrated writer, an esteemed speaker, and a social reformer, proving that, as he said, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
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Summary

Summary

In this picture book biography, the late New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers and acclaimed artist Floyd Cooper take readers on an inspiring journey through the life of Frederick Douglass.

Frederick Douglass was a self-educated slave in the South who grew up to become an icon. He was a leader of the abolitionist movement, a celebrated writer, an esteemed speaker, and a social reformer, proving that, as he said, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."

The story of one of America's most revered figures is brought to life by the text of award-winning author Walter Dean Myers and the sweeping, lush illustrations of artist Floyd Cooper.


Author Notes

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsberg, West Virginia. When he was three years old, his mother died and his father sent him to live with Herbert and Florence Dean in Harlem, New York. He began writing stories while in his teens. He dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Army at the age of 17. After completing his army service, he took a construction job and continued to write.

He entered and won a 1969 contest sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, which led to the publication of his first book, Where Does the Day Go? During his lifetime, he wrote more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. His works include Fallen Angels, Bad Boy, Darius and Twig, Scorpions, Lockdown, Sunrise Over Fallujah, Invasion, Juba!, and On a Clear Day. He also collaborated with his son Christopher, an artist, on a number of picture books for young readers including We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart and Harlem, which received a Caldecott Honor Award, as well as the teen novel Autobiography of My Dead Brother.

He was the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for Monster, the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. He also won the Coretta Scott King Award for African American authors five times. He died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness, at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

The late Myers, former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, powerfully examines the life of Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, exploring the role that literacy played as he endeavored to free himself from slavery and work toward equality for all. Working in his signature oil-and-eraser technique, Cooper creates a series of striking portraits of Douglass as an inquisitive child, a "tall, well built and very unhappy" youth, and as a statesman who "continued to work and speak for the rights of all Americans" even after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. It's a stirring testament to the power of words and daring action to create change. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Miriam Altshuler, DeFiore and Company. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The opening paragraph of this posthumous picture-book biography from Myers states its theme as how one man's careful decisions and many accomplishments not only made his own life better but in many ways changed the history of America. Written in a clean, direct style, the text consistently supports the book's thesis. Born into slavery, Frederick was learning to read as a child, taught by his owner's wife, until her husband objected. The boy decided to learn on his own, and he did. Later, hired out to work in shipyards, he met free black sailors. He resolved to escape from slavery, and he did that, too. Later, asked to speak and to write about his life, he did, becoming famous for his autobiography and his speeches on abolition and women's rights. In 1863, he urged Lincoln to enlist black Americans in the Union army. Two years later, the war ended and the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery. From the book jacket image of a reflective, forceful young man to the dynamic portrayals of Douglass at different stages of his life, Cooper's expressive artwork shows him thinking through issues and acting with conviction. Focused, informative writing and strong, effective illustrations combine to make this the go-to Frederick Douglass biography for younger students.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

"Somewhere in Brooklyn," begins this incandescent biography, the winner of the 2017 Caldecott Medal, "a little boy dreams of being a famous artist." Basquiat died in 1988 at just 27, but he left a vibrant legacy that Steptoe, painting and collaging on salvaged wood pieces from Basquiat's own hunting grounds, conveys to a new generation. Steptoe's words, too, go straight for the heart, redeeming often harsh facts of the artist's life by focusing on how both his strength and his pain powered his art. MUHAMMAD ALI A Champion Is Born By Gene Barretta. Illustrated by Frank Morrison. 40 pp. Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 8) "He owed it all to a stolen bicycle," Barretta writes in this playful, dynamic look at the champion's quest for greatness. We see how one childhood incident - the young Cassius Clay reported the theft to a police officer, who invited him to learn to box - set the stage for a long career. There are highlights of his boxing fame, later years and racial-justice and humanitarian work. Morrison ("The Quickest Kid in Clarksville") gives the art a joyful zing and a serious yet eminently kid-friendly vibe. THE LEGENDARY MISS LENA HORNE By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. 32 pp. Atheneum. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9) The veteran biographer Weatherford stirringly tells Lena Horne's extraordinary story - her birth into a high-achieving black family; her itinerant childhood; the showbiz career she built while enduring Jim Crow and Hollywood racism; her place in the civil rights movement; the ways "music saved her" to the end. Zunon ("Don't Call Me Grandma") plays with shadow and light to suggest the hidden depths of a very public life. The book's sizzling clarity recalls Horne's own voice. THE YoUNGEST MARCHER By Cynthia Levinson. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. 32 pp. Atheneum. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9) It's one of the more shocking and little-known stories of the civil rights movement: In 1963, the City of Birmingham jailed hundreds of kids for joining the Children's March. Among them was 7-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks, taken from her family to spend a week behind bars, eating "oily grits" and sleeping on a bare mattress. Levinson and Newton keep her story bright and snappy, emphasizing the girl's eagerness to make a difference and her proud place in her community. FREDERICK DOUGLASS The Lion Who Wrote History By Walter Dean Myers. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. 40 pp. Harper/HarperCollins. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9) Douglass's life story has a magisterial glow in this posthumous work from the esteemed Myers. (It stands taller than most picture books, a fitting design decision.) Myers's words pointedly convey the centrality of reading and "careful decisions" to Douglass's struggle for freedom and his later public work, offering an anchor to children trying to comprehend the cruelties of American slavery. Cooper's realistic, slightly smudged art feels equally consequential, balancing dignity and emotion.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-This picture book biography draws on Frederick Douglass's autobiographies to examine his motivations and his lasting impact on U.S. history. Using erasers and oil on board, Cooper conveys Douglass's determination, portraying him as strong and serious even as a child. The artwork depicts Douglass's growing awareness that a life outside of slavery might be possible. The events covered are well chosen to give young readers insight into the essence of his life and accomplishments. In a child-appropriate manner, the text describes beatings, but the illustrations do not show scars. When Douglass was 16, his owner realized that the teen's independent spirit might be problematic. The owner sent Douglass to another man, Edward Covey, whose mistreatment of slaves often caused them to back down. In a dramatic spread, Douglass is shown standing over Covey as the older man crouches on the ground, Douglass clearly the victor in their confrontation: an image that emphasizes the spirit that drove him to stand up for himself and other African Americans through the abolitionist movement. A time line provides context and further details about Douglass's life. VERDICT Although this title is similar in scope to Doreen Rappaport's Frederick's Journey, the two books complement each other. Recommended for collections looking to further explore Douglass's legacy.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

From slavery to anti-slavery activista life honored and remembered.Writing with obvious admiration for his subject, Myers expertly conveys the life-changing and life-affirming moments and decisions that shaped Douglass into a man who "changed the history of America." Tracing his subject's childhood in bondage, Myers writes how the young Douglass recognized the importance of reading, affirmed his dignity as a mannot as a slave beaten into submissionand successfully escaped to freedom in the North. But Douglass did not stop there. He continued to write and speak forcefully for equal rights for all men and women. Young readers will certainly come away with an understanding of how one person, in spite of overwhelming odds, can make a difference. Cooper's signature style that combines erasures and oil on board brilliantly sings in clear and resounding volumes across every page. Douglass is portrayed in a sequence of portraits as pensive and dreamy, fighting mad, and commanding attention as a speaker. Scenes from his life depict slavery, black soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and audiences listening attentively. The backmatter includes the text of the "document signed by Hugh Auld officially freeing Frederick Douglass." A posthumous title of distinction from the multiaward-winning novelist, biographer, historian, and third National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.