Monday, October 08, 2012

Nonfiction Monday-- Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass for Kids: His Life and Times, with 21 ActivitiesSanders, Nancy I. Frederick Douglass for Kids: His Life and Times, with 21 Activities 
June 1st 2012 by Chicago Review Press
Copy provided by the publisher.

With extensive information as well as photographs and other illustrations, this book on the life and times of Frederick Douglass is about as complete a coverage as anyone could want. Douglass's life from birth to death and everything in between is documented and explained in an engaging way that middle grade students can easily understand. Sidebars with biographical information and pictures of minor historical figures are helpful, and I especially appreciated the photographs of sites where Douglass lived, many taken by the author.  There are also sidebars explaining historical situations that students may not have encountered in previous reading. Resource lists at the back include books, websites and places to visit.
Strengths: This would be an excellent resource for home schoolers who want to do an in-depth study on Douglass, or for students doing a research paper on him.
Weaknesses: The activities sometimes seem a bit desperate (a biscuit recipe might be fun to try, but I'm not sure about the "paste to keep flies away" from The House Servant's Directory from 1827.), and don't really add much to the book. Again, perhaps these would be helpful for home schoolers, but I would have preferred the book without them. This is available only in paperback or Kindle edition. Given the large size, a paperback would wear very poorly in a school, but Follett does have a prebind available. Given the extensive sidebars and pictures, I imagine a Kindle edition would be difficult to read, although I have not seen a copy in this format.

Also by this publishing house: Hollihan, Kerrie Logan. Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote, 21 Activities

1 comment:

  1. This book looks great! It does sound like the activities may be a stretch, but you wouldn't need to do those.

    I'm sure it's more accessible than the Autobiography of Frederick Douglass.

    I reviewed Before Columbus a few days ago. It was an excellent YA nonfiction.