Reviews for Stolen into Slavery : The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man


Booklist Reviews 2012 February #1
Expanding a chapter from Dennis Fradin's Bound for the North Star: True Stories of Fugitive Slaves (2000), the Fradins relate the harrowing experiences of a freeborn New York resident who was kidnapped, drugged, and sold into slavery in 1841. Repeatedly sold and renamed, Northup spent 12 years in captivity on several Louisiana plantations before he was able to contact his family--and, more importantly, considering contemporary laws and attitudes, a white lawyer who knew him--to secure his release. Based on Northup's published account, supported by other sources, and enhanced by both relevant period illustrations and generous quantities of print and web leads to further information, this simply, cogently written story illuminates one of the less well known episodes in slavery's history. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
In 1841 free black man Solomon Northup is kidnapped, sold into slavery, and shipped to Louisiana. Holding onto his love of music and his family, Northup endures twelve years of heartbreak and abuse. Faithful to his autobiography, the authors present an authentic account of slavery. Maps, archival photographs, and illustrations complement this stirring biography. Timeline, websites. Bib., ind.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #1
Most readers know something about the Underground Railroad, when African Americans went from slavery to freedom, but this volume presents the opposite scenario: the enslavement of thousands of free Northern blacks. Solomon Northup was one of 400,000 free blacks living in the United States in 1841. He was living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with his wife and three children, when two white men offered him good money to play violin for the circus they represented. Solomon jumped at the chance and soon found himself captured, beaten and transported to Louisiana, where he suffered a 12-year odyssey as a slave. Brevity, the focus on one man's story and a lively prose style make this an unusually affecting and important narrative. All of the dialogue and many of the details come from Northup's own memoir, Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853. Photographs, maps and reproductions of a bill of sale and various newspaper images complement the text. Unfortunately, sources are not always provided, as for a Frederick Douglass quotation on the final page, and the meager bibliography offers no sources for young readers, a shame since so many fine sources exist. An excellent and important introduction to a man who went from freedom to slavery and back again. (afterword, time line, online resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 April

Gr 5-8--Using a format similar to that of their 5000 Miles to Freedom (National Geographic, 2006), the Fradins tell the dramatic story of a free African American man from New York who was tricked, drugged, and sold into slavery in 1841. They draw upon Northup's 1853 memoir and their own research to describe his 12-year ordeal, from his fear and confusion when he awoke in a Washington, DC, slave market to his journey by ship to New Orleans to his brutal treatment at the hands of slave masters and overseers. The Fradins also discuss his ceaseless and often-dangerous efforts to prove his identity and reclaim his status as a free man and reunite with his wife and three children. The authors place his story into the context of antebellum America by examining how Northup's memoir affected the national debate about slavery. The text is supplemented with black-and-white reproductions of period documents and illustrations, modern location photos, and maps. This book will help readers understand the constant dangers that even free blacks faced, the brutality of slavery, and how the abolitionist movement used the accounts of escaped and freed slaves to shape public opinion. It offers much more detail than Mary Young and Gerald Horne's Testaments of Courage: Selections from Men's Slave Narratives (Watts, 1995), which includes a chapter on Northup.--Mary Mueller, formerly at Rolla Junior High School, MO

[Page 184]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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