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The Lion Who Wrote History

by Walter Dean Myers ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-06-027709-3
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

From slavery to anti-slavery activist—a 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 man—not as a slave beaten into submission—and 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)