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JOHN BROWN by John Hendrix Kirkus Star

JOHN BROWN

His Fight for Freedom

By John Hendrix (Author) , John Hendrix (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8109-3798-7
Publisher: Abrams

John Brown, with a makeshift flag in one hand and a tiny African-American tot cradled in the other, stands heroically on the jacket of this handsome picture-book biography. His face may be wizened and worn, but his eyes are fixed solely on the future, where he believed one day blacks would become not only free but equal. Often considered a madman or, at best, a tyrannical abolitionist, Brown had another side—one that was so overwhelmed by injustice that he simply had to act. Blood was shed as a result, especially in his attack on pro-slavery settlers in Kansas and the failed raid on Harper’s Ferry, but compassion fueled his fight. In sweeping acrylic washes and with speech bubbles that unfurl across entire spreads, Hendrix makes Brown loom larger than life, and rightly so. His magazine-illustration background is evident in spreads that combine the iconic and the realistic to compress the visual storytelling into one heightened image. Not a story for the younger set, but an important view of one of the most controversial men in American history. (author’s note, sources, index) (Informational picture book. 8-12)