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Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Henry's Freedom Box

by Ellen Levine

Other authors: Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)

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2,0243513,308 (4.45)16



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Showing 1-5 of 350 (next | show all)
This is a great book for all elementary aged students. The book demonstrates how horrible slavery can do. The book allows students to connect to the book because it is relatable to them. Students can have all felt fear, bravery, and have had to make tough decisions, just like Henry. This book is a great tool to utilize when teaching about slavery and America's history with slave trade. I would use this book as a group discussion tool. I would read it out loud to my students so that they could ask questions and give their input to the situation.
  jthodesen01 | Feb 23, 2017 |
This book is about Henry who hides in a box to escape through the Underground Railroad after his family is taken away. This book is a good example of a biography because it tells the true story of Henry Brown.
  Khegge15 | Feb 19, 2017 |
This would be a good book for an interactive read aloud in grades 4 & 5. They could read this book when learning about slavery and they would be able to see what the boy did to get out of slavery. This could be used in a social studies lesson to teach students about slavery. This would help students describe Henry in depth, drawing on specific details from the text, such as burning his hand just so he would be able to get out of doing his job. The students could do a group research project about what it was like being a slave as a child and how their lives are different. This could compare and contrast things such as what we see as good and evil. ( )
  kbellot | Feb 16, 2017 |
"Henry's Freedom Box" is a true story about Henry Brown. Henry dreams of a world where his life belongs to him. But when his family is sold, he risks everything for his family and his rights are sold, he risks everything for his family and his rights. Henry is a man who mailed himself to freedom, to a state where there was no slavery. Henry's brave choice is very inspiring, and I was happy to see that one of the people helped Henry escape, was a white doctor who did not believe in slavery. The illustrations are very good. The illustrator used pencil lines and added layers of watercolor and oil paint. The illustrator paints each page individually with such detail. The pictures allow the reader to gain a sense of what slavery times were like and how serious it was. The facial expressions of Henry are great because it makes the reader feel emotion and tone that is conveyed throughout the book. This book deserved the Caldecott Honor Award because it teaches and allows the reader to gain an understanding about this landmark in time, and the appreciation of their family and freedom. ( )
  CKISSINGER | Feb 7, 2017 |
This would be a good book for an interactive read aloud in grades 4 & 5. They could read this book when learning about slavery and they would be able to see the boy in the book group up and what he did to get out of slavery. This could be paired with a social studies lesson about slavery and the students could do a project about what it was like being a slave as a child, through research in the classroom and from their books.
  brandi3325 | Jan 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 350 (next | show all)
Levine (Freedom's Children) recounts the true story of Henry Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom. Thanks to Nelson's (Ellington Was Not a Street) penetrating portraits, readers will feel as if they can experience Henry's thoughts and feelings as he matures through unthinkable adversity. As a boy, separated from his mother, he goes to work in his new master's tobacco factory and eventually meets and marries another slave, with whom he has three children. In a heartwrenching scene depicted in a dramatically shaded pencil, watercolor and oil illustration, Henry watches as his family—suddenly sold in the slave market—disappears down the road. Henry then enlists the help of an abolitionist doctor and mails himself in a wooden crate "to a place where there are no slaves!" He travels by horse-drawn cart, steamboat and train before his box is delivered to the Philadelphia address of the doctor's friends on March 30, 1849. Alongside Henry's anguished thoughts en route, Nelson's clever cutaway images reveal the man in his cramped quarters (at times upside-down). A concluding note provides answers to questions that readers may wish had been integrated into the story line, such as where did Henry begin his journey? (Richmond, Va.); how long did it take? (27 hours). Readers never learn about Henry's life as a free man—or, perhaps unavoidably, whether he was ever reunited with his family. Still, these powerful illustrations will make readers feel as if they have gained insight into a resourceful man and his extraordinary story. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

added by sriches | editPublisher's Weekly, Reed Business Information

Gr 2–5—Inspired by an actual 1830s lithograph, this beautifully crafted picture book briefly relates the story of Henry "Box" Brown's daring escape from slavery. Torn from his mother as a child, and then forcibly separated from his wife and children as an adult, a heartsick and desperate Brown conspired with abolitionists and successfully traveled north to Philadelphia in a packing crate. His journey took just over one full day, during which he was often sideways or upside down in a wooden crate large enough to hold him, but small enough not to betray its contents. The story ends with a reimagining of the lithograph that inspired it, in which Henry Brown emerges from his unhappy confinement—in every sense of the word—and smiles upon his arrival in a comfortable Pennsylvania parlor. Particularly considering the broad scope of Levine's otherwise well-written story, some of the ancillary "facts" related in her text are unnecessarily dubious; reports vary, for instance, as to whether the man who sealed Henry into the crate was a doctor or a cobbler. And, while the text places Henry's arrival on March 30, other sources claim March 24 or 25. Nelson's illustrations, always powerful and nuanced, depict the evolution of a self-possessed child into a determined and fearless young man. While some of the specifics are unfortunately questionable, this book solidly conveys the generalities of Henry Brown's story.—Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
added by sriches | editSchool Library Journal, Catherine Threadgill

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellen Levineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nelson, KadirIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Voici l'histoire étonnante d'Henri Brown , l'esclave noir qui a réussi à s'enfuir clandestinement du Sud des États - Unis de la plus originale des façons ...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 043977733X, Hardcover)

A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.

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. Henry grows up and marries, but 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

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