Robert Smalls: American Hero

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Product Details
$19.99  $18.59
Sky Pony
Publish Date
8.74 X 11.02 X 0.39 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the nation's leading environmental activists. He is past president of Waterkeeper Alliance, the world's largest clean water advocacy group; founder of the Pace University Environmental Litigation Clinic; a former Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council; and a former Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. He also is founder of Children's Health Defense, a nonprofit global advocacy group. He has written three children's books and many books for adults, including the New York Times bestsellers Crimes Against Nature, The Riverkeepers, and The Real Anthony Fauci. Mr. Kennedy was named one of TIME magazine's "Heroes for the Planet" for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. Kennedy is a master falconer and former president of the New York State Falconry Association.
"Grade 5-8--This title celebrates the life of a little-known African-American hero. Born into slavery off the coast of South Carolina, Smalls later saved $700--almost enough to buy his young family's freedom. When the birth of a second child put a higher price on the prize, he started thinking of escape. In May of 1862, as a deckhand on a Confederate battleship, he and a small group of slaves and their families boarded the Planter in the dead of night and sailed off, delivering the ironclad to a squadron of Union warships. Not only were they safe and free, but Smalls and his crew were recognized by President Lincoln. As a Captain in the Union army, he would later convince the president to enlist 5000 former slaves, "shattering the color barrier that had kept blacks out of military service." After the war, Smalls joined the state senate and later served five terms in the House of Representatives. . . . Handsome single-page and full-spread paintings along with smaller black-and-white sketches enhance the narrative. This engaging biography sheds light on an interesting man and unique time in American history." --School Library Journal

"In the latest entry in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s American Heroes series, Kennedy focuses not only on the daring escape Smalls made to freedom but also on Smalls as a political hero, especially his important role in the emancipation of slaves and in improving things for blacks during Reconstruction. The tone is sometimes too inspirational (he was "always noble and modest and spoke confidently for the cause of freedom"), but readers will still be able to appreciate the gripping history of how Smalls influenced Lincoln and how for 50 years, including during his six terms in Congress, he fought for American democracy and for the rights of the oppressed of all races--even at a time when the white supremacists in his state were triumphant. Like others in the series the volume features many illustrations--including maps, small black-and-white portraits, and stirring, full-color scenes of ocean battles. A bibliography is planned but was not available for review. Grades 3-6." --Booklist