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 In addition to the biography of Smalls, additional historical content  provides an in-depth look into the times in which Small lived.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.

My TBR Pile

 

Two cousins embark on an exciting mystery to solve the riddle of their grandfather’s will. The boys from diverse backgrounds must work together to overcome natural and cultural obstacles. Can they save the ranch in time?

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself

It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…

Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear.

In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.

Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.

 

This exciting entry in Lee & Low’s “Story of” line of chapter-book biographies introduces readers to Robert Smalls, an enslaved steamboat wheelman who commandeered a Confederate boat during the Civil War and escaped with his family, crew, and their families to freedom.

Growing up enslaved in South Carolina, Robert Smalls always dreamed of the moment freedom would be within his grasp. Now that moment was here.

Robert stood proudly at the Planter’s wheel. Only seven miles of water lay between the ship and the chance of freedom in Union territory. With precision and amazing courage, he navigated past the Confederate forts in the harbor and steered the ship toward the safety of the Union fleet. Just one miscalculation would be deadly, but for Robert, his family, and his crewmates, the risk was worth taking.

The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls is the compelling account of the daring escape of Robert Smalls, an enslaved steamboat wheelman who became one of the Civil War’s greatest heroes. His steadfast courage in the face of adversity is an inspiring model for all who attempt to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.

This Chapter Book edition includes black-and-white illustrations as well as sidebars on related subjects, a timeline, a glossary, and recommended reading.

What is in your TBR pile right now?

 

New Releases from Guardian Angel Publishing

 

Ulysses is a basset hound who thinks he can sing, but sounds like a fog horn in the bay. That’s how he got into trouble in the backyard. Wise Owl tells Ulysses to be what he is and find his own special sound. That’s how he learned to make the most joyful noise in all the land.

Sparky travels the globe looking for children in need of help. His adventure to Uganda leads him to a young boy named Jimmy who is sick and alone in the middle of the jungle. Their colorful friendship changes Jimmy’s world.

Coloring Book shares the adventure of Sparky’s Uganda Adventure from Spark Worldwide who serves,  protects and raises kids… “It’s what we do.” Also see the picture book of Sparky & Jimmy- Sparky’s Uganda Adventure. And help support  Spark Worldwide around the globe.

Book 3 contains another sampling of ancient symbols presented by Professor Hoot who guides the reader through distant times for further exploration. Join Professor Hoot as he displays more ancient art and unusual artifacts. These items represent various cultures from ancient countries and eras.

Have you ever wondered where groundhogs live or what they eat? With rhyming fun, explore their world with facts from A to Z! Read about their Predators and how they Hibernate, Their Voracious appetites and the way they eXcavate! Intriguing information from beginning to end. Building understanding of our furry groundhog friends!

Long before Santa had a sleigh, he walked from house to house delivering toys with his faithful dog Yukon. With more good girls and boys and more and more toys, only a big sleigh will do. But who will save Christmas day by pulling Santa’s sleigh?

A fictional short story poem revealing the often-times forgotten, yet age-old secret of life: the importance and attraction of kindness. A light hearted tale of a peace loving old man, and how he became loved by the whole village by being kind.

For these and other books by Guardian Angel Publishing, visit the publisher online at www.guardianangelpublishing.com

 

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.

Coming in February: Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Halfmann tells the powerful story of Lily Ann Granderson, an enslaved woman who “believed the path to freedom was through education.” Ladd’s rich, naturalistic acrylic-and-pencil images depict Granderson’s upbringing in Kentucky, where she learned to read and write in secret, then shared her knowledge with other children. As an enslaved adult in Mississippi, Granderson risked punishment by holding night classes in an empty cabin: “Landowners feared that if the enslaved could read, they would discover that some northerners wanted slavery abolished.” After the school is discovered, Granderson is shocked to learn that she won’t be punished (Halfmann speculates about why she might have escaped punishment in an afterword) and reopens her school, teaching as a free woman for many more years. The painful but uplifting narrative may spark readers’ curiosity about other enslaved individuals whose stories have not yet been told.

Age Range: 7 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

Pre-order from Amazon or other online retailers.