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Love Twelve Miles Long

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  67 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
It s late at night, and Frederick s mother has traveled twelve miles to visit him. When Frederick asks Mama how she can walk so far, Mama recounts her journey mile by mile. Every step of the way is special, as it brings them closer together; and Mama passes the time by remembering, listening, praying, singing, and more.Set on a plantation in 1820s Maryland, this story base ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Lee & Low Books (first published November 1st 2011)
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Dec 20, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it
The sack. HIs only clothes.
HIs mother walking twelve miles to see him is an incredible detail about Frederick Douglas's life that I wonder if most people know. I didn't, but have not studied Douglas. Historical fiction like this is a sure way to teach that history is interesting, and no one book can tell it all. For students, perhaps it is better to focus on one such small segment that is part of a much larger picture. I think it makes students more interested and curious about events and peopl
Scarlett Sims
Frederick's mother lives twelve miles away from him, but that doesn't stop her from coming to visit him and telling him all of the things that she thinks about to make her journey easier. At the end of the book is a note about the historical Frederick Douglas on whom the young boy in the story is based.

The language in the book is easy for young children to understand and the format of counting the miles will give kids something to keep track of. The pictures are beautiful, painterly illustration
Teacher 007.5
Apr 14, 2013 Teacher 007.5 rated it it was amazing
Love Twelve Miles Long is a remarkable and heartwarming story of a mother's love and sacrifice for her son. This story retells the short and few moments Fredrick Douglass spent with his mother. She would travel twelve miles late at night after a hard day of labor in the fields to be with him for just a few hours to only have return before the sunrise to work again. But this story isn't really about her struggles, pain and heartache, it is about the love, warmth and hope she shares with her son. ...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Dec 22, 2011 Margo Tanenbaum rated it really liked it
Based on the childhood of former slave, author and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, this new picture book by debut author Glenda Armand introduces Douglass as a young boy in Maryland, where his mother visits him one night every week, despite the arduous twelve mile walk from the plantation where she works in the fields. She explains to him that every mile represents something different, and she makes the journey go by concentrating on these aspects of her life during each mile of the journey. Fo ...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Nov 26, 2011 Meagan Myhren-bennett rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Homeschoolers, Elementary History Teachers, Children's Libraries, Preteen readers
Recommended to Meagan by: NetGalley
By Glenda Armand
Illustrations by Colin Bootman

LOVE TWELVE MILES LONG is a story from the childhood of Frederick Douglas. The twelve miles refers to the distance Frederick’s mother had to travel to see her young son. This is an intriguing look into the childhood of a man, who would later champion the oppressed in a land that valued freedom for a select few though claiming it was the right of all men.

Glenda Armand’s work focuses on one night in young Frederick’s life when Mam
Xiaohui Yang
Feb 08, 2013 Xiaohui Yang rated it it was amazing
Based on the childhood of Frederick Douglass, Love Twelve Miles Long tells the story of “a special night” when Frederick’s mother walked twelve miles each way to visit Frederick. Twelve miles was too far for Frederick. But it was not far for Mama, since each mile was “for something different”. It was Frederick’s favorite part to ask Mama what was each mile for. Meanwhile, when they were getting close to the last mile, Frederick knew that Mama would be leaving soon and did not want to ask about t ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
I wouldn't recommend this book for the usual picture book crowd (second grade and under) to read, by I do think this would make an excellent book to read to some of the older grades. This book teaches at least two powerful lessons: How strong a mother's love can be (Frederick Douglass' mother walked twelve miles every day to see him); and how very wrong slavery is.

The illustrations are beautifully poignant.
Sandra Stiles
This was a beautiful book. It is the story of young Frederick Douglas. His mother lived twelve miles away and walked to visit him. He asked her about each mile. She tells him the first mile is for forgetting, the second is for remembering, the third is for listening. The fourth mile is for looking up, the fifth is for wondering, the sixth is for praying, the seventh is for singing, the eighth is for smiling, the ninth is for giving thanks. The tenth mile is for hoping, the eleventh is for dreami ...more
Frederick Douglass and his mother were separated when he was young, both slaves on different farms. When she was allowed the time, she would walk the twelve miles to visit Frederick, then walk the twelve miles back. This picture book tells how Frederick's mother made her journey seem shorter by thinking about something different on each of the twelve miles. One mile was designated for prayers of thankfulness. One mile was for remembering. One mile was for forgetting. One mile was for singing. Ea ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it
Recommended to Margaret by: NetGalley
This is a beautiful book and not just in the images. The words on the page paint a vivid image of the relationship between Frederick Douglass and his mother in a conversation after she walked the long twelve miles to visit him in the master's house. She tells him a bedtime story in the manner of what she thinks about each mile as she comes and goes. It is a beautiful telling that is valuable in studying the history of people who were once slaves. It would make a great elementary school introduct ...more
Nov 30, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
There are so many picture books out there about slavery, the Underground Railroad, and African American life in the Deep South. And I'm always glad when I find one that is beautiful while helping my students understand slavery. Love Twelve Miles Long is a story told by an enslaved mother who walks twelve miles to visit her young son. She tells him about what she thinks about for each mile of her walking journey -- hoping, praying, dreaming. She addresses the reality of their situation while help ...more
Caroline Akervik
May 09, 2012 Caroline Akervik rated it it was amazing
This picture book is based on the life of the young Frederick Douglas. He and his mother are slaves and live twelve miles apart. After work, she walks the twelve miles to spend time with her son. During her visit, she explains to him the meaning of each of those miles to her. The first mile is for forgetting. Another mile is for song. One is for hope, and the final one is for love. The book truly speaks of the beauty of a mother's love and of its impact on a child's life. The book includes a bri ...more
Julie Esanu
This lovely book is a factionalized account of the relationship between the young Frederick Douglass and his mother, Harriet Bailey. Separated from her beloved son at a young age, Harriet would work all day and then risk her life to travel at night to visit Frederick. Glenda Armand highlights and Colin Bootman illustrates the enduring themes of the bonds of parental love, family, hope, perseverance, and courage as Harriet shares her hopes, fears, and prayers over the twelve miles it takes to vis ...more
I highly recommend this one.
Dec 08, 2011 Taffy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
First line:

"This was a special night."

Great story about Fredrick Douglas and his mother, both slaves on different plantations. His mother walked twelve miles to see her son. Each mile had a special meaning.

The beautiful pictures help convey the story.

Rating: PG

V: No

S: No

L: No


THANKS to NetGalley for letting me read it!
May 19, 2012 Ageena rated it it was amazing
Beautiful! The love of Fredrick's mother, the way she points him to hope and to a life better than he has is just wonderful. I will be reading this book to John from time to time until he is old enough to read it himself and probably even after that, it will certainly be a part of every study that we do on slavery. Just beautiful book!
Jacqueline Lang
Mar 01, 2012 Jacqueline Lang rated it really liked it
I think this book was very touching and heart warming. It's a very sad situation that a little boy and his family is torn apart by slavery. But the love of his mother is so great that she walks 12 miles every night to be with him. The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful!
Feb 02, 2012 Jill rated it it was amazing
A picture book for children describing the incredible love between Frederick Douglass and his mother, who trudged twelve miles up and back to see him at a different plantation whenever she could (all the while having to work the fields from dawn until dusk). Inspirational!
I would recommend this book for a child researching or interested in slavery or for black history month.

This is a great book about how even in slavery a mother remembers, loves, prays, hopes, and has faith that her and her son will have a better future.

AR 3.2
Candace Carr
I would this book to teach about Frederick Douglass and the relationship with his mother just to get some extra insight into what happened to him. I would also read it to show the love between a mother and her son during the slavery time.
Sharon Lawler
I rarely think of Frederick Douglas as a child, but here is a picture book which concentrates on he and his mother, who lived on a plantation which was twelve miles away from the plantation where he lived.
The Styling Librarian
Really enjoyed reading this beautiful book. Family separated by slavery/need for freedom/power of reading. Celebration of family and also Frederick Douglass's life/past.
Jul 11, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it
Wonderful wonderful. I stifled a little teensy sob when his mom told him about the twelfth mile.
Caitlin Sempowich
Dec 08, 2011 Caitlin Sempowich rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Extremely moving! Definitely for older readers. Would be excellent for Black History Month.
Edward Sullivan
Nov 25, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Poignant, beasutifully illustrated story based on the life of young Frederick Douglass.
Rachel Brown
Oct 28, 2013 Rachel Brown rated it it was amazing
wonderful illustrations and all.
Tiffani Lewis
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Glenda Armand has worked for many years as a teacher and school librarian in Los Angeles, California. She loves reading about history and is passionate about sharing the stories of African American slaves, “acknowledging the humanity and indomitable spirit of people who kept their souls and their voices, even in the worst of circumstances.” Love Twelve Miles Long, a Lee & Low New Voices Award ...more
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