I, DRED SCOTT by Shelia P. Moses

I, DRED SCOTT

A Fictional Slave Narrative Based on the Life and Legal Precedent of Dred Scott
Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

From 1846 to 1857, Dred Scott tried to get courts to recognize his right to freedom. His lawyers argued that since he had spent considerable time in free states he ought to be free, according to the Missouri Compromise. Lower courts went back and forth in a series of cases and appeals, and in 1857, in Scott v. Sanford, Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney read a 50-page, two-hour decision stating that African-Americans were not citizens and had no rights. Dred Scott remained a slave until a new owner granted him his freedom shortly thereafter. Moses’s fictional slave narrative is an important work that gives voice to a pivotal American, whose case edged the nation closer to war. However, Scott’s narrative voice seems disembodied; there’s too little character development and historical context to make Dred Scott seem like a real person. Much is told, but there’s no drama in the telling. Christensen’s illustrations aptly complement the text, and the foreword by the great-grandson of Dred Scott will remind readers of Dred Scott’s legacy. (author’s note, the impact of the decision, chronology, bibliography) (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-689-85975-9
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2004




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