Lindsey's Reviews > Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: info-bios, mc-literature, picture-books

This is a true story of Henry Brown, a man who ends up mailing himself to a free state to escape slavery. The story begins with Henry as a child and follows him until he becomes a man who is married with children of his own. His wife and children end up being separated from him when their owner sells them to different people. Shortly after is when Henry decides to mail himself to a free state. He is never reunited with his family.

I loved this story. It has very simple text, but some heavy themes, and is truly heart-wrenching. The pictures appear to be colored pencil. They are very engaging and are from interesting points of view. This book could be used to talk about slavery, human rights, love, freedom, the Underground Railroad, or the Civil War. Even young students would be engaged, but I would encourage teacher discretion in deciding if their students are mature enough to deal with the idea of families being separated, slavery, and desperation. This book could probably be used up through middle school, or possibly even with other students as the beginning of a discussion.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Q_Ayana I love this book. I have read it with my third grade students the past two years. They always enjoy the pictures and the story’s happy ending. They always begin to put themselves in Henry’s shoes, imagining what it may have been like to be tossed around in a box – all in pursuit of freedom. I always enjoy hearing stories of freedom, especially those names that are not the commonly-known revolutionaries of the Underground Railroad. It is great story about having hope and dreams, even when it may seem like you have nothing at all to live for.

L11-Sharri Moses I agree with you that this book would be a great way to begin a discussion with students. It is a powerful book and I love the illustrations.

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