The Cartoon Chronicles of America: Fight for Freedom

Stan Mack and Susan Champlin. Bloomsbury, $10.99 trade paper (118p) ISBN 978-1-59990-835-9
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During the American Civil War, Sam and Annabelle live on the same plantation, but have radically different stations. Sam is a young slave who has learned how to read but must keep it secret or else he faces punishment. Annabelle is the daughter of the plantation owner, and while at first it seems she might be a sheltered, spoiled girl, it turns out she is much more forward-thinking. She helps Sam escape, at which point he goes North and finds himself in a series of interesting—if unlikely—situations, including meeting with Abraham Lincoln and helping out the army. Annabelle, meanwhile, helps her mother turn the plantation into a hospital of sorts for soldiers on both sides. The story is fast-paced, the characters have distinct personalities, and readers will be rooting for Sam and Annabelle to beat the odds. Real details of the Civil War are woven in, and afterward Mack and Champlin explain what is fact and what is fiction, and even include maps to enhance the educational value. As well done as it all is, however, a certain didactic tone can’t be escaped. Ages 10–14. (July) ■
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 07/17/2012
Hardcover - 118 pages - 978-1-59990-014-8
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