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Two Friends

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  451 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Some people had rights, while others had none.
Why shouldn't they have them, too?

Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories fighting to win rights for women and African Americans. The premise of this particular exchange between the two is based on a statue in their hometown of Rochester, Ne
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Orchard Books
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  451 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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I was horrified to discover how historically misleading the book is. The ending and the afterword suggest that these two major historical figures walked arm in arm into the sunset, working toward their joint goals for the rest of their lives. Nothing could be further from the truth!
It was unfortunate that the only fact-checking for the book came from someone at the Susan B. Anthony Museum, since it's in their interest to make her look good and to minimize the later conflict between these two fig
This is a cute, very very simple biography of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. I really liked the mixed media collage illustrations, especially the scraps of paper covered in period handwriting. (Nerdy Archivist moment!) Susan's bloomers made up of one of those scraps is priceless! I also really liked the depictions of the people of color. The one thing that keeps me from giving this book a whole 5 stars is that it must cause the young reader to ask a LOT of questions. Who had rights? Wh ...more
A wonderful look at two powerful figures in the fights for equal rights accompanied by truly stellar artwork. I love everything about this! :)
Angela Blount
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Originally reviewed for YA Books Central:

A simple, visually engrossing introduction to the concept of equality.

Two champions of human rights meet for tea. The premise is interesting, as well as historically accurate. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass did indeed become friends in the mid 1800’s, drawn together by the similarity of their causes. Equal right and freedom for all. And as the Author’s note at the very end reveals in more significant detai
Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass became friends in Rochester, New York where there is a statue showing them having tea together. The story imagines what it might have been like when they met, but it also shares a little of each of their childhoods. Susan loved to learn, but was denied that right because she was a woman. Frederick was born a slave, and escaped to the north, learning to read and then wonder why he couldn't do what others did.
As Anthony and Douglas grew to adulthood, both
Mar 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
It's pretty superficial. They did meet, and they should have had plenty to talk about, but this paints a pretty picture of mutual support that implies more significance and ignores Anthony's rejection of equal rights for Black women lest it harm her cause.

I'm not saying that getting into all of that belongs in a children's book, but the broach the subject and not do it justice is not the answer.
Edward Sullivan
A clever, spare narrative imagines a meeting of the suffragette and former slave and abolitionist, at her home in Rochester, New York. Superbly illustrated by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls. I wish the author had included suggestions for further reading.
Nancy Kotkin
Text: 4 stars
Illustrations: 4 stars

Historical fiction picture book. An imagined meeting of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and suffragette Susan B. Anthony who were contemporaries, colleagues, and friends in real life. Informative author's note in the back of the book puts the time period in further perspective. Bibliography included.
Very beautiful picture book imaging Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass meeting for tea at Anthony’s home on Madison Street in Rochester NY. They discuss topics of women’s and African American rights. Short and sweet with lovely illustrations.
Candance Doerr-Stevens
The depiction of the two’s friendship is very minimal. Were they actually friends or just contemporaries? In many ways it feels like they just put two famous people , who were acquaintances, into the same book
Aug 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
I can't give this book no stars, but it deserves it. Susan B. Anthony actively sold out the black community in order to get white women, and only white women, the right to vote. This book is a lazy example of "I can't be racist, I have a black friend." Instead of another tired Susan B. Anthony book can we please have some more children's books about black suffragist and abolitionist women like Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells? ...more
Morgan Bindas
This book introduces children to history throughout the whole book. It starts off with the friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, the 19th century civil rights heros. It teaches them about friendships and the causes they fought and spoke for. This book also shows how theres leaders in the world that people will remember for forever.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
"So many speeches to give.
"So many articles to write.
"So many minds to change."

Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass are both vocal advocates for equal rights in their time. In Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (2016) by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko, Robbins imagines what it must have been like when Anthony and Douglass met at her home to discuss their ideas.

Although Two Friends is a fictionalized account, it is based on a very real friendship.
Alex  Baugh
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
There was a time when all women and all African Americans had two things in common - neither group had rights and both groups had someone working hard to get them the rights they deserved according to the US Constitution.

In this meeting of suffragette Susan B. Anthony and former slave, abolitionist, and newspaper editor Frederick Douglass at her home in Rochester, NY, author Dean Robbins imagines what the two pioneers in the fight for equal rights might have talked about when they sat down for a
An introduction to two very important historical figures which imagines shared ideas over shared cups of tea and discusses each person's legacy.

I like the way the questions posed in both back stories are similar, which helps readers understand why these two people made for logical allies/friends. The questions both Anthony and Douglass ask themselves are powerful and written at a level that is perfectly suited to the audience. Also, I like that the questions arise after each has sought out educa
Aliza Werner
Wisconsin author Dean Robbins shares an imagined meeting between real life friends Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. I wish there had been a bit more to show what people who didn't have rights looked like, so that kids could imagine it and empathize. Phenomenal illustrations from husband and wife team Qualls and Alko. Pair with ELIZABETH STARTED ALL THE TROUBLE. Mentor text for persuasive writing (examples of speech writers). ...more
Pam  Page
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations that have been well-researched (see illustrator's note on copyright page). Author's note in the back gives further information about the friendship between Anthony and Douglass. Wish there was more information in the text of the book. ...more
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
a remarkable bit of history told in a manner that will introduce little people to two great American minds and their ideas of justice and equality.
Ashley Mohar
Twin Text:
Rosie Rever, Engineer
Beaty, A. (2013). Rosie Revere, engineer. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams.

Beaty, A. (2013). Rosie Revere, engineer. New York, NY:Harry N. Abrams.

I paired these two books together, because the nonfiction book talks about Susan B. Anthony and how she fought for woman’s rights. The story Two Friends is about Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglas talking back and forth about how one fought for woman’s rights and the other fought for African American rights. I p
Megan Martin
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cynthia Daniels
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book encompasses the passion of two passionate people filled with a sincere passion to bring rights to women and to African American people. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass became friends and enjoyed a cup of tea and a bit of fellowship with an exchange of ideas. Susan wanted freedom and also the right to vote. Frederick Douglass simply wanted rights to live free and the right to vote. Aligned in their ideals and they desires, they became advocates and supporters of one another, in ...more
Sam Collins
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Title: Two Friends
Author: Dean Robbins
Genre: Cultural Picture Book

Dean Robbins' "Two Friends" is a mediocre attempt to compare the lives and hardships of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Because historically, Anthony and Douglass both advocated for the others' causes, Robbins attempted to show that relationship between the two of them, by which he created a comparison between their two fights. Anthony, a white woman, is fighting for women to have the right to vote while Douglass, a black
Christina Williams
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Two Friends is a historical fiction written for children in grades 3 and up. The book has won many awards and has been honored in many different categories. One of them is the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice award. This tells the story of how Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglas gained a friendship during their common interest in fighting for equality. The illustrations are dreamy which add more to the dreamy tone of the story. This was a book that gave young readers some insight on i ...more
Tori Augustine
This lovely picture book introduces children to the little-known friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, two 19th century civil rights heroes who loved and supported one another for over 40 years. These two young girls worked together for the common goal of good for all, especially to get women and African-Americans their rights as US citizens. They were remarkable, exceptional people ahead of their times and ahead of ours now. As people we should be learning all we can from their ...more
Judy Desetti
I liked this book but it missed the mark of what I had hoped would bring the lives of these two important people to my students. The big ideas were there but it seemed to jump around a bit. I liked that it showed both Frederick and Susan as lacking the same benefits of rights to vote and live free. It just needed to have a bit more meat to the story, in my opinion. I really liked how it showed the parallel of both groups having the same needs or lacking really the same things.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I already knew some things about Fredrick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony, I still thought this story gave a good insight into the minds of these two influential figures. It was nice seeing these connect based on how they both experienced being denied some of their rights just by the way they looked. I also liked how some of the illustrations looked bold like the colors in the backgrounds. It really made them look strong and powerful against the bold backgrounds.
Emily Metheny
Two powerful figures in one book make for a strong and powerful book. At this time both women and African Americans had something in common which was the fact that they had no rights. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas met for tea and discussed their stories and their fight for rights.
It is great to open our children up to our history and this book does a great job by the way the story is told and the great illustrations presented.
A more nuanced look at their friendship can be found in Friends for Freedom. This book's reading level is more appropriate for my 4.5 year old, but it leaves out the complexity of their long friendship - they disagreed but could maintain connections for decades. My reading of Suzanne Slade's book will supplement discussions of Dean Robbins'. ...more
“They promised to help each other, so one day all people could have rights.”

Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass both had very different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: they wanted all people to have the right to live free and the right to vote. They admired each other’s ideas and that is why Frederick got in touch with Susan when he moved to Rochester. Over tea and caked they discussed their plans. “So many speeches to give. So many articles to write. So many minds to change.
Ashley Jones
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Fighting for the rights that 'everyone' is supposed to already have would have been exhausting and almost impossible, especially when you are part of the group that the decision-makers did not listen to (women and people of color). In this story, 2 friends from the 2 least favorable groups find a common barrier in their way, so they put their minds together to find a way to overcome this obstacle and achieve their goals. ...more
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