Cover image for Frederick Douglass : leader against slavery
Frederick Douglass : leader against slavery
McKissack, Pat, 1944-2017.
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
Berkeley Heights, NJ : Enslow Pub., [2002]

Physical Description:
32 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
400 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.9 0.5 14563.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 29838 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E449.D75 M378 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



- Elementary reading-level biographies of inspiring African Americans.
- Will satisfy the need for younger biographies written with simple text.
- These classic biographies have been revised as of 2002.

Author Notes

Patricia C. McKissack was born in Smyrna, Tennessee on August 9, 1944. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Tennessee State University in 1964 and a master's degree in early childhood literature and media programming from Webster University in 1975. After college, she worked as a junior high school English teacher and a children's book editor at Concordia Publishing.

Since the 1980's, she and her husband Frederick L. McKissack have written over 100 books together. Most of their titles are biographies with a strong focus on African-American themes for young readers. Their early 1990s biography series, Great African Americans included volumes on Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. Their other works included Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. Over their 30 years of writing together, the couple won many awards including the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal, a Newbery Honor, nine Coretta Scott King Author and Honor awards, the Jane Addams Peace Award, and the NAACP Image Award for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?. In 1998, they received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

She also writes fiction on her own. Her book included Flossie and the Fox, Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt, A Friendship for Today, and Let's Clap, Jump, Sing and Shout; Dance, Spin and Turn It Out! She won the Newberry Honor Book Award and the King Author Award for The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural in 1993 and the Caldecott Medal for Mirandy and Brother Wind. She dead of cardio-respiratory arrest on April 7, 2017 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4. First published in 1991, these picture-book biographies in the Great African Americans series have been revised to include more historical photos, a new design, and up-to-date bibliographies with several Web sites. The writing style in the Douglass book is sometimes stilted, but the basic facts about his life under slavery, his escape, and his work as a leading abolitionist are here. The chatty style works well in the McKissacks' book about Terrell, one of the first black women to earn a college degree, and the authors do a good job of integrating Terrell's personal life with the conditions of the time and her active role in the fight for civil rights. Both books will be useful as first biographies for young readers and for reading aloud. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-These revised biographies contain many facts presented in a readable style. While some of the material has been updated and expanded, the most striking difference is the visuals. For example, the mediocre drawings in the first edition of Douglass have been replaced with black-and-white archival photos and reproductions. The appealing cover is new and the typography has changed. The text, which recounts Douglass's experiences of being taken from his mother, becoming a slave, and suffering many beatings, help to put a human face on the evils of slavery. Children will gain insight into the power of literacy as they read the words of Douglass's master who said, "Never teach a slave to read.-He won't want to stay a slave." Terrell also relies heavily on black-and-white period photographs. Like Douglass, she also lived in the 19th century, but was born free into a life of privilege and wealth. However, Terrell also faced the obstacles placed before African Americans and fought to overcome them. She was active in African-American women's groups and the newly formed NAACP. Attractive replacements for libraries needing biographies for beginning chapter-book readers.- Dorothy N. Bowen, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.