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A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet
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A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet (Candlewick Biographies)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  80 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
"Lasky shows not only the facts of Wheatley's life but also the pain of being an accomplished black woman in a segregated world." — BOOKLIST

"We’ll call her Phillis."

In 1761, a young African girl was sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, who named her Phillis after the slave schooner that had carried her. Kidnapped from her home in Africa and shipped to America, she’d had
Paperback, 40 pages
Published December 13th 2005 by Candlewick Press (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Jul 28, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
Inspiring girl & woman, skillfully put together book, authentic seeming illustrations and story. But for me, this true tale’s facts are crazy making. The author obviously abhors slavery and makes that clear. But while “Phyllis” was eventually given manumission papers, freeing her from slavery, I found it disturbing how the relationship between slave and “mistress” seemed glorified a bit: she loved her like a daughter, taught her to read and write, and “Phyllis” came back to care for her when ...more
Feb 17, 2014 538am_erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: civil-war-books
The historical fictional account of slave poet, Phillis Wheatley, A Voice of Her Own, tells the journey of a young girl, Phillis, as she journeys from Africa to America – enslaved in Boston and eventually becomes a published writer.

Author Kathryn Lasky, chronicles Phillis’ story as she learns to read, write, and strives toward finding a voice of her own. Supported by her masters Mr. and Mrs. Wheatley, Phillis quickly learns to read, write and speak English in a sixteen-month time frame. She the
Nov 11, 2010 N_katiebernard rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
The story tells of a Phillis Wheatly, a slave during the time of the Revolutionary War. Phillis is brought to the northern colonies, where her "owner" recognizes her intelligence and decides to see if she can teach an African slave to read/write. The Phillis not only achieves this, but she becomes quite accomplished and writes wonderful poetry. Despite her great ability, Phillis continues to struggle with the fact that she does not fit in with anyone. She is not allowed to go to certain places o ...more
Mar 01, 2013 L13_Meghan rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
The message of this book is inspiring. This books describes the life of Phillis Wheatley, a slave during the Revolutionary War. As she is sent to the northern colonies, she is able to teach other slaves how to read and write once her master discovers her unique intelligence. However, she still struggles to fit in and find a place within her situation. Phillis writes her own poetry throughout this time, and eventually is able to have it published. It becomes very popular later on in the colonies. ...more
Hannah Braunstein
Feb 16, 2015 Hannah Braunstein rated it really liked it
Kathryn Lasky's biography of Phillis Wheatley, the first published slave poet, outlines her kidnapping and transportation to America on a level that upper elementary grade children would be able to grasp. The evocative illustrations by Paul Lee add depth to the emotional language Lasky uses. This book would be great as an author study in a unit on poetry, as Lasky laces quotes from Wheatley's poetry into her own narrative. In the unit, I would have students explore further into Wheatley's poetry ...more
Feb 23, 2016 Jack rated it liked it
Recommended to Jack by: CMARS
A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley, Slave Poet by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Paul Lee provides a very approachable biography of Phillis Wheatley for a grade 3-7 audience. Paul Lee illustrations done in acrylic on board provide a window into Ms Wheatley's life and expands upon the text. It is difficult to grasp the significance of Wheatley's accomplishments without reading more of her poems and letters. I feel that there are better choices of poem segments for that purpose. ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book made me want to grab a book of her poems and start reading. What an interesting woman! It's a shame her life was so short, and that she didn't write more. And how sad that she, though from America, had to get her poems published in England. Wish I could write poetry like that!
Olivia Lagore
The story of a Phillis Wheatley, a slave girl living in New England, who was taught to read and write, eventually becoming the first published African American author. Her story is interwoven with historical events and issues, such as the beginnings of the American Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre, and the slave trade.
This would be a good book to read during a lesson on Civil Rights or when discussing the revolution. In neither lesson would this book be a good
Margo Tanenbaum
Candlewick has recently reissued in beautiful full-color paperback editions several biographies of famous African-American women by Kathryn Lasky. In A Voice of Her Own, Lasky shares the story of an equally extraordinary woman, Phillis Wheatley, known as the first black woman poet in America.

Lasky begins her book as a young girl is kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery in America in 1761. Through the girl's eyes, Lasky describes the harrowing journey from the west coast of Africa. A powerf
Apr 11, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing
We all loved A Voice of Her Own. I hadn't read about Phillis Wheatley before, but as we are studying the American Revolution, we decided now was the time to read about this slave who became the first black woman to publish a book (I guess in the USA). The book deals sensitively about her being taken away from her mother in Africa and sold in Boston, although it goes into enough detail that you ache for her, her mother, and all those affected by slavery. Thankfully she was bought by Susannah Whea ...more
Rose Anderson
Mar 10, 2016 Rose Anderson rated it really liked it
Intelligent introduction to slavery for young children as well as being a good introduction to Phyllis Wheatley's life and poetry w/bright, clear, historically accurate illustrations.
Dec 26, 2014 Janel rated it really liked it
Great imagery. Accessible for 4th grade but the underlying themes and stylistic choices are probably better approached in middle school.
Amber Adams
Apr 02, 2013 Amber Adams rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lit-2, writers-craft
"The story tells of a Phillis Wheatly, a slave during the time of the Revolutionary War. Phillis is brought to the northern colonies. She teaches other African Americans during this struggling time. I enjoyed reading this book because it uses such detail in her writing. I would use this book to teach sensory details. Phililis uses sensory detail like blackness, scurrying shapes of rats, etc. students will learn to capture their sensory details in their story's. the students will need to write st ...more
Aug 23, 2014 ThePinkCarrot rated it liked it
Inspirational story of a slave girl allowed to be educated
Jan 18, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, kid-lit
Told elegantly and with beautiful illustrations, this biography of Phillis Wheatley is suitable for older elementary students. It draws comparisons between Phillis' slave status and the struggle of the American colonies for independence from Britain. Using snippets of her own poems, it shows her journey from being kidnapped from Africa to being the first African American female published poet. As another Goodreads reviewer stated, this children's biography makes me want to get Phillis' poem coll ...more
Katie Burdis
Mar 04, 2013 Katie Burdis rated it really liked it
What an incredible story! I've heard the name Phillis Wheatley, but I never knew her story. This book gives a very simplified look into the time and life of Phillis Wheately. I really enjoyed this book, as I do with most historical fiction books. I'm not sure how much of this is true when it comes to the story of Phillis' mother, but I know her being such a successful poet is in fact true and once again is such an incredible story!
Kris Odahowski
Apr 05, 2013 Kris Odahowski rated it really liked it
Celebrate Poetry month with this well written and illustrated biography of an African woman who became a published poet during the early days of the American Revolution. This books is a great steeping off point for students learning about American slavery, it's impact on Africans. This book is available or check out at the Gadsden County Public Library.
Amanda Day
This is a biography about the slave poet Phillis Wheatley and her journey to success. Takes place during the Revolutionary War, would be a great introduction to poetry unit.
Katie Sargent
Mar 21, 2012 Katie Sargent rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Excellent story of a brilliant poet. She was the first African-American woman to have a book published. The illustrations were also very good.
Aug 31, 2012 Beka rated it liked it
A nice introductory book that might get kids interested in reading more about Phillis Wheatley.
Veronica Baca
Jul 28, 2011 Veronica Baca rated it really liked it
Good resource for a discussion on slavery, poetry, and the English War.
Lasky does a very nice job with biographies for children.
Apr 24, 2013 Rita rated it really liked it
Wonderful and inspiring story!
Cate marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2016
Amanda Burrows
Amanda Burrows rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2016
Nayeli Brooks
Nayeli Brooks marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2016
Robin Warnke
Robin Warnke marked it as to-read
May 13, 2016
Katey Magill
Katey Magill marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Grace added it
Mar 26, 2016
Mel rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2016
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
More about Kathryn Lasky...

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