STOLEN INTO SLAVERY

THE TRUE STORY OF SOLOMON NORTHRUP, FREE BLACK MAN

An excellent and important introduction to a man who went from freedom to slavery and back again.

Most readers know something about the Underground Railroad, when African Americans went from slavery to freedom, but this volume presents the opposite scenario: the enslavement of thousands of free Northern blacks.

Solomon Northup was one of 400,000 free blacks living in the United States in 1841. He was living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with his wife and three children, when two white men offered him good money to play violin for the circus they represented. Solomon jumped at the chance and soon found himself captured, beaten and transported to Louisiana, where he suffered a 12-year odyssey as a slave. Brevity, the focus on one man’s story and a lively prose style make this an unusually affecting and important narrative. All of the dialogue and many of the details come from Northup’s own memoir, Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853. Photographs, maps and reproductions of a bill of sale and various newspaper images complement the text. Unfortunately, sources are not always provided, as for a Frederick Douglass quotation on the final page, and the meager bibliography offers no sources for young readers, a shame since so many fine sources exist.

An excellent and important introduction to a man who went from freedom to slavery and back again.   (afterword, time line, online resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4263-0937-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

NOT YOUR PARENTS' MONEY BOOK

MAKING, SAVING, AND SPENDING YOUR OWN MONEY

In her first book for young readers, personal-finance expert Chatzky offers straight talk on all things related to money—where it came from, how it’s made, how to earn it and how to save it, everything from gross domestic product to gross viruses on paper money. Having spent three months traveling the country and talking with kids, the author presents questions and answers in a volume attractively designed in a kid-friendly manner, with plenty of illustrations, charts, lists and sidebars for fun facts and kids’ questions. One thing not learned on the trip, apparently, was not to take all middle-school students’ answers at face value, as readers will see wise-guy responses, illogical explanations and self-centered comments mixed in with the mostly thoughtful and sincere questions and statements. Still, the clear and conversational text, coupled with the inviting format, will appeal to young readers, who should enjoy learning about a subject important to them. (appendices, map, glossary, web resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9472-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD

A TRUE STORY OF ADVENTURE, HEROISM & TREACHERY

If only Benedict Arnold had died sooner. Had he been killed at the Battle of Saratoga, he’d be one of the greatest heroes of American history, and “we’d celebrate his life as one of the best action stories we have.” Instead, he survived and went on to betray the colonies and die in shame. Sheinkin sees Arnold as America’s “original action hero” and succeeds in writing a brilliant, fast-paced biography that reads like an adventure novel. Opening with the hanging of Major Andre, the British officer who plotted with Arnold to turn West Point over to the British, the story sticks to the exciting illustrative scenes of Arnold’s career—the invasion of Canada, assembling America’s first naval fleet, the Battle of Valcour Island, the Battle of Saratoga and the plot with Andre, whose parallel narrative ends in a bungled mission, his execution and Arnold’s dishonor. The author’s obvious mastery of his material, lively prose and abundant use of eyewitness accounts make this one of the most exciting biographies young readers will find. (source notes, quotation notes, maps [not seen]) (Biography. 11-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-486-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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