Monday, April 6, 2009

Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story by Janet Halfmann


Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story by Janet Halfmann
Illustrated By: Duane Smith
Geared Towards: Ages 6-11
Published By: Lee & Low Books
Publication Date: June 2008
ISBN: 978-1-60060-232-0

I acknowledge the importance of paying attention to history so that we can not only understand where we've come from but so we can all the more also appreciate what we now have. Likewise, I believe that if we're not to repeat history's mistakes we must strive to learn from them. An example that beautifully displays this importance is Janet Halfmann's Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story; a book easily classed as moving, harrowing, and awe inspiring. In sharing Robert's story, Halfmann shows the importance of following your dreams and how doing so can truly change your life and those of the ones around you.

Seven Miles to Freedom is the true story about Robert Smalls, born in to Southern Carolina slavery in 1839. From a very early age, Robert knew that being a slave was not the life he was meant for. When Robert was 17 he met Hannah Jones, a slave from another family. Having worked out an arrangement with each of their masters, Robert and Hannah married. Their union wasn't as simple or easy as that of a non-slave couple, but they had love. Soon thereafter they also began a family, with first a daughter and then a son. The couple was happy, but still they were slaves. Their children too would be slaves. Loving and being dedicated to his wife and children, it was this knowledge that truly pushed Robert to make his dream a reality.

I believe children and adults both will enjoy this book. Accompanied by simple yet stunning oil paint illustrations, by Duane Smith, this is a story of hope and wonder. A book that will capture your attention, break your heart, and yet leave you with a complete and total sense of happiness. This is a tale that shows the importance of dreaming big even when the road to achievement doesn't come free of risks and danger.

OUR RATING: 5 hearts

1 comment:

Janet said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful review of my book. I feel honored that I was able to tell the story of Robert Smalls, an amazing man who deserves to be remembered.