Bread for Words: A Frederick Douglass Story By Shana Keller & Kayla Stark

Back of Book:
Frederick Douglass knew where he was born but not when. He knew his grandmother but not his father. And as a young child, there were other questions, such as Why am I a slave? Answers to those questions might have eluded him but Douglass did know for certain that learning to read and to write would be the first step in his quest for freedom and his fight for equality.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture from Sleeping Bear Press in exchange for an honest review.
I am thrilled to see a trend of picture books being written in a first-person narrative. I believe it adds another layer of depth to a historical setting. Frederick Douglass is famous for his fight and determination to receive an education. “Bread for Words” focuses more on his childhood journey as he learned to read.
The story follows a young Douglass as he grows up in Maryland. Every time he expressed interest in learning he was told that it was not an option. His constant thirst for knowledge would anger his owners and sometimes he was moved to other places so that he wouldn’t continue to focus on education. One morning he realized that the young boys on the street looked around his age and, they also looked hungry. Fredrick began to bring a book with him and extra bread. Slowly he started to learn the letters in the books until he could read and write. His perseverance allowed him to become unstoppable in his life. Shana Keller did a beautiful job of weaving together a nonfiction narrative that allows readers a glimpse into the early life of Fredrick Douglass. The illustrations by Kayla Stark capture the historic period and draw readers into the story. Her use of color and detail creates beautiful images. This is a perfect book for any historical unit or celebration of Black History Month.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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