Henry's Freedom Box: Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Category: Book
By (author): Levine, Ellen
Illustrated By: Nelson, Kadir
Subject:  JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 19th Century
  JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / African American
  JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Prejudice & Racism
  JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / General
Audience: children/juvenile
Awards: Caldecott Medal (2008) Commended
Publisher: Scholastic Canada
Published: January 2007
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 40
Size: 11.25in x 9.32in x 0.25in
Our Price:
$ 24.50
Availability:
Available: 3-5 days

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. When Henry grows up and marries, he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday - his first day of freedom.
From The Publisher*Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. When Henry grows up and marries, he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.
Review Quote*Kirkus Starred
Nelson's powerful portraits add a majestic element to Levine's history-based tale of Henry "Box"
Brown, a slave who escaped by having himself mailed to freedom in a crate. Depicted as a solemn boy
with an arresting gaze on the cover, Henry displays riveting presence in every successive scene, as he
grows from child to adult, marries and is impelled to make his escape after seeing his beloved wife and
children sold to slaveowners. Related in measured, sonorous prose that makes a perfect match for the art,
this is a story of pride and ingenuity that will leave readers profoundly moved, especially those who may
have been tantalized by the entry on Brown in Virginia Hamilton's Many Thousand Gone: African
Americans from Slavery to Freedom (1993). (afterword, reading list) (Picture book. 8-10)
Biographical NoteEllen Levine has always been drawn to stories of people who struggled for justice, and of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. She was fascinated by Henry "Box" Brown, whose escape is recounted in The Underground Railroad by William Still, first published in 1872. Ms. Levine was awed by Henry's ingenious idea and moved by his incredible courage. Among the author's award-winning books are Freedom's Children, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Darkness Over Denmark, a Jame Addams Peace Award Honor Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in New York City and Salem, New York.

Kadir Nelson's paintings for this book were inspired by an antique lithograph of Henry "Box" Brown, created by Samuel Roswe in 1850 as a fundraiser for the anti-slavery movement. To give the feel of the original lithograph, Mr. Nelson crosshatched pencil lines, and then applied layers of watercolour and oil paint. His award-winning books include Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange, which won the Coretta Scott King Award and was an ALA Notable Children's Book; and Just the Two of Us by Will Smith, which received an NAACP Image Award. Mr. Nelson lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and two daughters.