Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 26

Picture Book: Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

Author: Ellen Levine

Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

Summary: This is a true story of a slave who ingeniously found a way to escape to freedom after his family is sold from him. Henry arranges himself inside a box to be mailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The illustrator cleverly shows readers Henry’s position inside the box. After obtaining his freedom, his nickname became Henry “Box” Brown.

Hanna’s Comments: This is a compelling story that illustrates the heartbreak and horrors of slavery including the pain that separation from family can bring. It also cleverly demonstrates the lengths to which one man would go through for freedom at last. The fact that this story is a true makes it all the more powerful.

Publisher & Date of Publication
: Scholastic, 2007

Age and Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: audio CD, Audible

PBT Category: Non-fiction, Award Winner (Caldecott Honor Book)

PBT Topics this Book Connects with
: abuse/abuse of power, bravery/courage, challenges, found, freedom, injustice, journeys/pilgrimages/migration/quests, noise/sounds/voice, patience, perseverance, prisons/prisoners, quiet/silence, race relations/racism, resurrection, risking, slavery/slaves, social justice, travel, waiting

Scripture Connections: the escape from Egypt (Exodus 13 & 14), the Lord has anointed me to proclaim liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61:1), do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)

Idea(s) for Application: This book is perfect for a homeschool or private school history lesson on Henry “Box” Brown and how the church’s position on slavery has evolved over time. 

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