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Henry's Freedom Box (2007)

by Ellen Levine

Other authors: Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)

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2,8974683,545 (4.51)21
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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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 467 (next | show all)
When my social studies class get's to the Civil war and slavery portion this would be a great way to show how slaves would do everything and anything to fight for their freedom. Also when introducing the Underground railroad this would be pretty awesome to show the students. This book is about A slave named henry who puts himself in a box to Philadelphia to escape a plantation from Virginia during 1849.
  Cjf046 | May 3, 2021 |
In the following picture book "Henry's Freedom Box", we are taken on a history adventure through the life of Henry Brown. He soon has had to move due to his slave master falling ill, which takes Henry away from his family. He becomes a very lonely in his new place till he meets Nancy. Down the line, Nancy and Henry end up getting married and have children of there own. A huge turn is taken during the middle of the book. Henry decides he wants to be free. After this book is read to the classroom, they will soon understand the history of the underground railroad and get to see it from the eyes of Henry. ( )
  mas188 | Apr 28, 2021 |
True story from the underground railroad ( )
  VictorTran | Apr 20, 2021 |
A moving story about Henry who wants to be free and mails himself to the North. This book doesn't hide what the characters are and their hardships as they are, but gives us spirit for Henry as he does for himself when he goes on his adventure. I recommend for all ages! ( )
  missolei | Apr 7, 2021 |
Henry's Freedom Box is a wonderful storybook for teaching younger children about slavery and the Underground Railroad. It is the true story of Henry “Box” Brown who mailed himself to freedom. Henry's bravery and ingenuity were inspiring to read about. It is very sad that Henry lost his entire family when they were sold and apparently was never reunited with them, but it seems that his pain may have been a driving force in his quest for freedom. He also became an internationally renowned spokesperson for the Underground Railroad and abolition, and even wrote an autobiographical account of his life as a slave and his escape which I hope to read at some point.

Half the beauty of a picture book are the illustrations and the ones here are quite lovely. I was very impressed with how realistic and emotive they are. The pictures almost tell the story all by themselves. Kadir Nelson is a very talented artist. His illustrations combined with Ellen Levine's words to create an amazing book that became a Caldecott Honor book as well as winning numerous other awards and accolades. In my opinion, they are all well-deserved. I recommend Henry's Freedom Box to both children and parents, and I'll definitely be acquiring a copy for my own keeper shelf. ( )
  mom2lnb | Mar 30, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 467 (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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For Mada, who introduced me to William Still
-- E. L.
For my mother, Emily Gunter,
for your love, encouragement, guidance, and inspiration
Love, Kadir
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Henry Brown wasn't sure how old he was.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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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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