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Frederick Douglass: A Noble Life / by David A. Adler


 Frederick Douglass: A Noble Life
Author:  David A. Adler
Publisher: Holiday House
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2056-8
Year: 2010

Concepts: social justice, slavery, racial equality, discrimination

  Frederick Douglass, a brilliant author, speaker, journalist, and activist, spent his childhood and teenage years enslaved in Maryland. Not only did he endure the oppression of having to work as a slave without any of the privileges enjoyed by whites, he was also subjected to physical violence, hunger, and other forms of brutality at the hands of several particularly cruel owners.

Escape by train to the northern states brought Douglass the precious freedom he had craved for years, but life was very difficult for a fugitive slave with no home, no job, and virtually no money. Douglass took a variety of odd jobs until his speaking skills caught the attention of noted abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.  After their meeting, Douglass began to use his gifts with words to contribute to the abolitionist cause and raise awareness about the atrocities of slavery. He spent the rest of his life advocating for racial equality, women’s rights, and social justice.

This new biography provides a highly readable and informative account of Frederick Douglass’s life as an enslaved child and long-term opponent of institutionalized discrimination.  His influential speeches, publications, and actions made an invaluable contribution to the end of slavery and the promotion of human rights for all.  This contribution shines through in the book’s comprehensible text, candid subject matter, and striking selection of images. 

Review by:  Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children 

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