OPEN THE DOOR TO LIBERTY! by Anne Rockwell

OPEN THE DOOR TO LIBERTY!

A Biography of Toussaint L’Ouverture
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Born a slave, Toussaint L’Ouverture overcame ill health and used his considerable intellect to shape both his life and the future of his country. Nonetheless, L’Ouverture, liberator of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), seems an unlikely subject for a children's biography. Distant both historically and geographically, his story revolves around bloodshed and betrayal. Rockwell keeps the narrative brisk, summarizing the plight of the slaves and their previous efforts to rebel and moving quickly to the battles, led by L’Ouverture, through which they finally won their freedom. While this fast pace helps readers avoid feeling bogged down by details, it may leave them somewhat confused, as apparently important individuals and events are mentioned only in passing. The denouement, L’Ouverture’s surrender and death, also feels rushed, and his motivation, as Rockwell notes, remains unclear. Christie’s stirring illustrations, including the cover painting of a triumphant L’Ouverture surrounded by his people, complement the dramatic tale but do not provide additional insight. While this introduction may pique the interest of some history buffs, it seems unlikely that it will find a wide audience. (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-618-60570-5
Page count: 80pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2008




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