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.
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.
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.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2012 August/September
This is the true story of Solomon Northup, born a freeman in upstate New York in 1841. Lured by the prospect of a job opportunity, he travels with two white men who drug him and sell him into slavery. Robbed of his papers, he is sent south and finds himself working on a plantation in Louisiana. Here Solomon endures 12 years at the hands of an abusive slave owner, all the while trying to communicate with his friends and family in an attempt to regain his freedom. Befriended by Samuel Bass and freed from slavery, Solomon returns to his family and pens his autobiography, preserving forever the harrowing story of the plight of free blacks in the days prior to the U.S. Civil War. The book is well written and clearly illustrates the terrible injustices brought upon free blacks as well as slaves. Alda Moore, Head Librarian, Matoaca High School, Chesterfield, Virginia. RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March
Gr 5 Up--This engrossing book chronicles the creation of Superman comics and its surprising effectiveness in combating prejudice. Bowers weaves this story with many strands, including a look at Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster as highly relatable, 1930s high school nerds. The story of Stetson Kennedy, a Southern writer who agitated against the KKK and harnessed Superman's power, is equally well drawn. Bowers delineates the social conscience of Superman from its inception, helping readers appreciate how comics--indeed, all art--can change the world. Gracefully written, this book is an inspiring testament to the power of the human spirit to fight evil. It is a well-researched, compulsively readable history that will appeal to a broad audience, including reluctant readers. Throughout, readers will be wondering how, exactly, Superman fought the KKK. The author builds up to this conclusion gradually, keeping his audience in suspense until the very end. The rich visual panels of comics in the middle of the volume beautifully illustrate how Superman communicated social messages through his stories. Readers may find the earlier chapters that focus on the visual side of the Superman empire more accessible than the later ones, a less-familiar medium. Teachers can easily remedy this by playing old shows, available online. This is an ideal text for classes exploring media studies, graphic novels, and civil rights. Librarians must buy this brilliant book-faster than a speeding bullet.--Jess deCourcy Hinds, Bard H.S. Early College, Queens, NY [Page 182]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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.