15. Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

July 11, 2009 at 9:00 am 1 comment

henry's freedom boxRetell: This is the true story of Henry “Box” Brown.  After his family was sold to another plantation, Henry decides to escape to freedom via the postal service.

Topics: underground railroad, slavery, perseverance

Units of Study: Nonfiction, Content-Area Reading and Writing, Historical Fiction

Tribes: personal best

Reading Skills: inference, emapthy

Writing Skills: incorporating symbolism, using setting details

My thoughts: I can see why this won a Caldecott Award.  The illustrations by Kadir Nelson are larger than life.  What’s nice about this book, as well as many biographies written for young readers, is its author’s note.  Reading both the story and the author’s note is a nice way to compare narrative and expository nonfiction.  Though Henry’s Freedom Box is a biography, I could also see reading this book during a unit on historical fiction to examine how an author tucks in historical details.


Entry filed under: Caldecott Award Winners, Female Authors, nonfiction, Picture Books. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kim  |  July 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I used this book in the historical fiction writing unit. My class enjoyed it very much – the story is fascinating as well as told and illustrated beautifully.


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