Seeking Freedom: The Untold Story of Fortress Monroe and the Ending of Slavery in America

Selene Castrovilla, illus. by E.B. Lewis. Calkins Creek, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-63592-582-1
Castrovilla spotlights the actions of a little-known contributor to the end of slavery: a Black freedom seeker named George Scott, who assisted white Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler “to track down the Confederates” who threatened Fortress Monroe, a Union military base in Virginia, in 1861. Scott’s heroic feat led Butler to write a letter to President Lincoln “arguing for Scott’s liberty—and for that of all the contrabands,” or the freedom seekers who sought refuge at the Fortress. Bolded headings track time as action-centered diction moves the plot forward: “Scott peered at the bridge to Fortress Monroe. He’d arrived to see eight more Negroes headed inside.” Immersive watercolor art by Caldecott Honoree Lewis presents realistic portraits and natural landscapes with dramatic use of light and shadow in this well-paced historical narrative. Extensive back matter includes further historical context as well as a bibliography. Ages 7–10. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/24/2021
Release date: 01/04/2022
Genre: Children's
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