Today I’m helping celebrate the new book Frederick Douglass For Kids by Nancy I. Sanders. Join the launch party at Nancy’s blog where she’s giving away prizes, including a free critique of your manuscript’s first page. As the bestselling, award-winning author of over 80 books for kids, I’m pretty sure she knows how to hook a reader with that first page .
Back to Frederick Douglass. He’s one of those people- -you want a spark from his fire.
Born on a plantation, Douglass escaped slavery and helped others to freedom via the Underground Railroad. He became a bestselling author, an outspoken newspaper editor, a brilliant orator, a tireless abolitionist, and a brave civil rights leader. He was famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the years leading up to the Civil War, and when war broke out, Abraham Lincoln invited him to the White House for counsel and advice. Whew!
I wanted to know if Nancy learned anything surprising during her research on this important American leader.
I had mistakenly thought that the Civil War was just a white-man’s war, says Nancy. I thought that it was mainly fought to reunite the Union and that the issue of slavery was just kind of added on toward the end.
When war broke out between the South and the North, Frederick Douglass hurried to his newspaper office and published articles urging the nation to free the slaves forever and to enlist black troops to fight. He knew the war was about ending slavery and would not be successfully won unless both these conditions were met.
I also learned that it wasn’t until black troops were allowed to fight for the Union that the North finally began to experience victory. Black troops were very, very influential in bringing an end to the fighting. In my book, Frederick Douglass for Kids, highlight the achievements and influence black leaders and black troops had on our nation during these crucial years.
Frederick Douglass For Kids: His Life And Times With 21 Activities is great for teachers to use in the classroom. Besides the wide range of subject matter, timeline and resources for further study, the author offers ideas for bringing history alive. Kids can learn how to form a debating club, cook a meal similar to the one Douglass shared with John Brown, make a civil war haversack and experience the power of microlending.
But most importantly, kids reading this book can follow the footsteps of this American hero and see how to turn adversity into courage.
Remember to drop by Nancy's blog for a chance to win a prize during her Book Launch Party. Tell her I sent you.
Great blogging ideas over at Writer Unboxed today. Basically, suggesting that you write about subjects that tie in with the platform for your book, which most likely you’re passionate about, and what connect with those who share your interest.
I totally agree with this advice. But it is a bit harder for those of us who write about various topics. But I’ll take a stab at it.
Did you know WWII soldiers fighting the Japanese in the ill-fated Battle of Bataan kept themselves alive by eating python eggs? And monkey? The worst thing about eating monkey? When you dipped in the pot and your serving looked like a human body part. One soldier said later he felt like a cannibal.
Which reminds me, the United States now has its very own officially approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After a thorough investigation, the Bishop of Green Bay Wisconsin has ruled the Queen of Heaven manifested herself to Adele Brise in Champion, Wisconsin, October 9, 1859. (Deets here.) Leading directly to the Battle of Lake Erie, decisive victory in the War of 1812. The reconstructed Flagship Niagara that won the battle will participate this summer in a study of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. The three-week study from the decks of the Niagara will look at the amount of plastic present in the water, and how much plastic fish are eating.
By the way, 100-years ago this month the Schwab Clothing Company in St. Louis reduced garment worker’s wages from $12 a week to $8, rousing 300 additional employees to join the on-going strike against the company. Labor Activist Fannie Sellins traveled the country urging people to boycott Schwab clothing, until the company went out of business in October 1912.
Yes, I am writing about all these topics. Yes, I am passionate about all these topics. To win a copy of my forthcoming book—leave a comment below (before May 15, 2012) guessing which topic the book is about, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win. Thanks to http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/confusion.htm for today's graphic.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the newly released second book in Y S Lee’s Agency series, The Body at the Tower. This time Mary Quinn investigates murder while disguised as a boy, a poor apprentice builder assigned to a building site on the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament.
Lee, with her PhD in Victorian literature and culture, gives us a suspenseful and resonant glimpse of a fascinating moment in history. According to Kirkus Reviews“…the sights, smells and grim lives of London’s poor are richly detailed….”
Though Mary and the clandestine Agency operating out of Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls are unrealistic to the time period, they provide a terrific story against a backdrop of accurate and interesting history. I was hooked on Lee’s first book A Spy in the House, when Mary goes undercover during London’s Great Stink of 1858. A smelly situation that really happened. Says Lee,
“It was a particularly warm year and the smell from the grossly polluted Thames became, quite suddenly, unbearable. People panicked. Those who could fled London for the country. And the Great Stink finally pushed the government into cleaning up the Thames and modernizing London’s sewer system.
We know the bare facts: toilets flushed right into the Thames, and Londoners pumped the water straight back out for cooking and bathing. People thought the smell made you sick – not germs. And future prime minister Benjamin Disraeli fled the House of Commons one day with a handkerchief over his nose, so evil was the stench.”
Ah! Those were the good ol’ days.
Lee plans to unveil the cover of yet a third Mary Quinn detective story soon. I’m hoping it won’t be the last.And not just because I won this tee at the twitter book launch of #2. Thanks, Ying!
I am an author of books for young people, and an occasional journalist. I blog about dealing with demons and other dark holes of the writing life, also about literature, history, food, gardening, nature, stuff I like.