Explains how the nearly four million slaves and nearly half a million free blacks gained freedom and basic rights as citizens, following Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.
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Grade 3-5-Taking a highly visual approach, King allows young readers the opportunity to learn about the painstaking steps involved in transforming lives from slavery to freedom. The focus is on the children, their work, their families, and their treatment before and after emancipation. One sepia photo per page is accompanied by one or two paragraphs of text. While the pairing of text and photos is a strength of the volume, a few statements are simplistic: "All kinds of 'let's pretend' games allowed slave children to use their imagination and creativity," and "Brer Rabbit tales taught them how to avoid danger." The appendix offers an explanation of the Emancipation Proclamation, a description of the Freedmen's Bureau, and an annotated list of further reading. Immigrant Children explores the lives of those who arrived "hungry, bruised, and hopeful" at the turn of the century; many found work in the mines, others farmed or worked in factories, but all struggled to improve their lives under often difficult conditions. The sepia photographs on each page focus on scenes of children and families arriving in this country, and at work and home. These pictures and the informative text offer a view of the past that will provide students with an awareness and appreciation of our cultural diversity. The appendix provides suggestions on how to explore family history through interview, research, and photographs.
Patricia Mahoney Brown, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Kenmore, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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