The Story of Civil War Hero ROBERT SMALLS – Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Duane Smith

   The Story of Civil War Hero ROBERT SMALLS – Janet Halfmann, illustrated by  Duane Smith, Lee & Low Books, 9781643790169, c2008, 2020


Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Biography

What did you like about the book?: I studied African American studies in college and own many books on African American history and never have I come across this name. It was truly a pleasure reading this book about Robert Smalls. This book gives us a very brief overview of his life mainly focusing on his courageous escape from slavery with his family and some of the families in the community. Robert was an excellent wheelcaptain and took his expertise of the water and boats to free his family. The great part about this book for learners who do not know much about African American history, is that the book has in-between pages where it explains many of the key terms and historical events it mentions in the overall book. The pictures are more of a charcoal drawing and do not have very distinct realistic features. There is one photograph of Robert Smalls at the end of the book. This book is a great addition for any school looking to teach students about the various professions African Americans have been in throughout history. It does not focus only on the injustice of slavery and I love that. 

Anything you didn’t like about it?: The book was very engaging and informative. 

To whom would you recommend this book?: Children between the ages of 12-14

Who should buy this book? : Middle schools and public libraries 

Where would you shelve it ? Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?: Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA

Date of review: 5/17/2020


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