Freedom on the Sea: The True Story of the Civil War Hero Robert Smalls and His Daring Escape to Freedom (Hardcover)

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Freedom on the Sea: The True Story of the Civil War Hero Robert Smalls and His Daring Escape to Freedom By Michael Boulware Moore, Bryan Collier (Illustrator) Cover Image

Freedom on the Sea: The True Story of the Civil War Hero Robert Smalls and His Daring Escape to Freedom (Hardcover)


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This is the thrilling story of Robert Smalls and the Confederate ship that he used to liberate himself, his family, and over a dozen others from enslavement.

On the night of May 13th, 1862, as the Civil War raged on in the United States, 16 enslaved people decided they would reach freedom or die trying. Filled to the brim with suspense, this true story details how Robert Smalls commandeered a confederate ship through the Charleston harbor toward liberation at the Union blockade.

Experience both determination and triumph with this picture book written by Robert Small's great great grandson, Michael Boulware Moore, with illustrations by the award winning artist Bryan Collier.

Michael Boulware Moore is currently the democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in South Carolina's 1st district running for the seat his great-great grandfather once held. He was the founding president of the International African American Museum and performs as a keynote speaker at universities, conferences, museums, and other organizations all across the nation telling the story of his great-great grandfather. Michael is well known as a profound business man, and Freedom on the Sea is his first children's book.

Bryan Collier is a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner for numerous children's books, including Rosa and Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When he's not painting, he spends his time visiting schools and encouraging young artists and readers. Bryan lives in New York with his wife and daughter.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250818355
ISBN-10: 1250818354
Publisher: Godwin Books
Publication Date: May 28th, 2024
Pages: 32
Language: English

"This picture-book retelling of his courageous escape from slavery is particularly good for a young audience. The story is presented with a sense of drama while filling in background information for kids. Blue hues subtly enhance the shades of brown in Collier’s illustrations. Using deep, contrasting colors and subtle textures, the striking paintings are particularly effective in the dimly lit scenes indoors and on the water at night. A handsome, historical picture book."—Booklist, starred review

Beginning with Smalls’s arrival from Beaufort to Charleston, South Carolina as an enslaved 12-year-old, engrossing text focuses on the figure’s skill with boats, his close-knit family’s life together, and the troubling truth that “being enslaved meant that any one of them could be sold away at any time.” Atmospheric collage-style imagery from Collier (Maya’s Song) transports readers to the time period as Smalls becomes a wheelman on a side-wheel steamer, the Planter, and, after the Civil War’s start, seeks liberation for his family."—Publisher's Weekly