The Clothesline Code by Janet Halfmann

The Clothesline Code by Janet Halfmann is the fascinating story of Lucy Ann and Dabney Walker, who risked it all to save lives.

After learning about the way the Union intelligence camp used flag codes to communicate over long distances, Dabney Walker and his wife Lucy Ann devised a way to use laundry to create a clothesline code to send signals across the river, putting the Walkers–especially Lucy Ann–in grave danger.

This story shares the bravery of the Walkers, and how their efforts helped the Union army prepare to battle the Confederate army in the spring. The Afterword provides more information about these courageous people and the time period.

Sharing an important and, perhaps not as well known, story from this time period in history is the perfect way to celebrate Black History Month and honor the sacrifices many Blacks made to help the Union. Halfmann’s books never disappoint.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher : Brandylane Publishers, Inc. (February 1, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 36 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1951565576
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1951565572
  • Reading age : 6 – 11 years

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls by Janet Halfmann

Part of “The Story of” biography series from Lee & Low books, The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls by Janet Halfmann is a chapter book providing a glimpse into this brave, amazing man who was born into slavery and became a national hero.

Born in the slave quarters of a plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina, Robert Smalls began working for his master at the age of six. As his master’s favorite, Smalls led an easier life than other enslaved people, but he still witnessed the evils of slavery. As he grew into a young man, he knew he wanted more for his life and for his people than living as the property of another man. The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls tells the story of the daring plan Smalls implemented to bring his family and others to freedom and how he helped the Union cause. It also follows his life after the war as a member of the United States Congress, a publisher, and a lifelong advocate for African Americans.

 

This is the second book by Janet Halfmann about the life of Robert Smalls that I’ve read. The picture book, Seven Miles to Freedom, is an excellent choice for younger readers. The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls is geared toward school-age children. In addition to the biography of Smalls, additional historical content  provides an in-depth look into the times in which Small lived. According to the publisher’s website, “The Story of” books include: informative sidebars, highlighted vocabulary words, a timeline, a glossary, a bibliography, and a recommended reading list. This information makes The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls the perfect book for school and public libraries and a great resource for all types of school projects. An inspiring story of a true American hero, The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls is a welcome addition to any Civil War library.

The style of artwork from talented children’s book illustrator Duane Smith allows the reader to envision Smalls’ journeys from his dreams of freedom through his days of piloting the Planter wood-burning steamer. The book also includes historical photos.

I am proud to add The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls to my Civil War library.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Series: Story of…?
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (February 25, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1643790161
ISBN-13: 978-1643790169

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Credo by Peter Bagge

The life story of the feminist founder of the American libertarian movement 

Peter Bagge returns with a biography of another fascinating twentieth-century trailblazer–the writer, feminist, war correspondent, and libertarian Rose Wilder Lane. Following the popularity and critical acclaim of Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story and Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story, Credo: The Rose Wilder Lane Story is a fast-paced, charming, informative look at the brilliant Lane. Among other achievements, she was a founder of the American libertarian movement and a champion of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in bringing the classic Little House on the Prairie series to the American public.

Much like Sanger and Hurston, Lane was an advocate for women’s rights who led by example, challenging norms in her personal and professional life. Anti-government and anti-marriage, Lane didn’t think that gender should hold anyone back from experiencing all the world had to offer. Though less well-known today, in her lifetime she was one of the highest-paid female writers in America and a political and literary luminary, friends with Herbert Hoover, Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis, and Ayn Rand, to name a few. Bagge’s portrait of Lane is heartfelt and affectionate, probing into the personal roots of her rugged individualism. Credo is a deeply researched dive into a historical figure whose contributions to American society are all around us, from the books we read to the politics we debate.

‘It’s irresistible to try and imagine what Hurston would make of this book, and inevitable to conclude that she’d approve.’NPR Best Books of 2017

‘A bright, highly moving introduction to a figure who is no longer obscure, but the full range of whose accomplishments we have yet to take into account.’ Los Angeles Review of Books

Peter Bagge is the Harvey Award–winning author of the acclaimed nineties alternative-comic series Hate, starring slacker hero Buddy Bradley, and a regular contributor to Reason magazine. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, he got his start in comics in the R. Crumb–edited magazine Weirdo. Bagge lives in Seattle with his wife, Joanne, their daughter, and three cats.

Hardcover: 108 pages
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly Publications
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Audience: Ages 16+
Subjects: Comics Graphic Novels Literary Nonfiction Biography Memoir Autobiography
EAN: 9781770463xxx

Order here!

New from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Here are a few new books from Macmillan Children’s that caught my eye:

 

Howard Carter was obsessed with mummies. He met his first when he was a boy in England and lived near a mansion filled with Egyptian artifacts. Howard dreamed of discovering a mummy himself–especially a royal mummy in its tomb, complete with all its treasures. When he was seventeen, he took a job with the Egypt Exploration Fund and was sent to Egypt to learn about archaeology and excavation sites. And his mummy hunt was on! Howard discovered many amazing artifacts, but he searched for years before coming upon the most famous mummy of all, King Tut.

 

A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he’s starting to lose hope.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is being bothered by a bully at school, he doesn’t speak a word of French, and just can’t seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed’s lives collide, banding the boys together to help Ahmed survive.

As their friendship grows, Ahmed and Max defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave, and how hope can change your destiny.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes.

Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.

Grace has Asperger’s and her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more.

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.

Visit Macmillan Children’s at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/macmillanchildrens

Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann is the story of one woman’s courageous journey to improve the lives of others through literacy.

Born into slavery, Lilly Ann Granderson was sold to a slave owner in Kentucky after the death of her mother. The master’s children would often play school and gave Lilly an old speller and taught her to read. She began sharing this gift of reading with others on the plantation. Once the owner died, she was sold to a cotton plantation in Mississippi, where it was illegal for slaves to learn to read. Undeterred, she restarted her school, teaching late at night to avoid being caught. The school grew. When patrollers discovered the slave school Lilly faced a hard punishment, but the authorities eventually ruled there was no law against a slave teaching other slaves.

What I admire about Halfmann’s biographies is that she highlights people who have made a difference in this world long past the pivotal times in which they lived. Granderson’s story displays her tremendous strength and determination to offer a gift that others took for granted because it was never a right denied to them. She knew the risks and faced them without fear of the consequences because she believed education was the path to freedom for her people. Between Halfmann’s moving text and London Ladd’s stunning artwork, the reader is immediately drawn into Granderson’s story.

A perfect book for any school or personal library, Midnight Teacher could inspire many school projects and empower young people to action for the causes for which they are passionate.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grades 1-6
Reading Level Grades 3-6
Lexile Measure: 950 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 13, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.