Wednesday, 23 February 2011

VIDEOS ~ Henry's Freedom Box ~ By: Ellen Levine

One of the books we received on Tuesday through inter-library loans was "Henry's Freedom Box."   This is a true story from the Underground Railroad.

Henry Brown was a slave in Virginia. He was separated from his Mother and was sent to work in a tobacco warehouse.  He later married Nancy, who was also a slave.  They had three children together before his wife, and his offspring, were sold at a slave market.  In desperation, Henry decides to take the drastic step of mailing himself to freedom in a wooden crate.  Henry's ingenious scheme works and he finds himself safely in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after a harrowing 27-hour journey over approximately 350 miles from Richmond, Virginia.

The author of this picture book, Ellen Levine, was interviewed by Scholastic Books.  After reading it, Alisdair and I enjoyed hearing more details about what happened to Henry and why Levine was inspired to tell his story.

More information on Ellen Levine can be found here.

Henry's Freedom Box has won many awards.  This is only a partial listing:
• Caldecott Honor
• ALA Notable
• Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (CBC & NCSS)
• Notable Books for a Global Society, (IRA)
• Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) best-of-the-year
• Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award

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