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 In addition to the biography of Smalls, additional historical content provides an in-depth look into the times in which Small lived.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.
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Series: Story of…?
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (February 25, 2020)
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.
Ollie has been thrust into the role of head of household.
At twelve years old, he is trying his best to keep things going now that his Grandpa Delmer had to move out.
It’s no small job with three little sisters. Helping with homework. Trying to keep food on the table. Staying awake in school. And the biggie, avoiding trouble that always seems to follow him. Top all of that off with a mom who seems to have given up on life.
Somehow he manages with the help of his neighbor Miss Collins, until a visit one evening by a social worker from the Department of Family Services.
Explore Ollie’s Story to find out more.
After her parents’ divorce, Bea’s life became different in many ways. But she can always look back at the list she keeps in her green notebook to remember the things that will stay the same. The first and most important: Mom and Dad will always love Bea, and each other.
When Dad tells Bea that he and his boyfriend, Jesse, are getting married, Bea is thrilled. Bea loves Jesse, and when he and Dad get married, she’ll finally (finally!) have what she’s always wanted–a sister. Even though she’s never met Jesse’s daughter, Sonia, Bea is sure that they’ll be “just like sisters anywhere.”
As the wedding day approaches, Bea will learn that making a new family brings questions, surprises, and joy, and readers will discover why the New York Times called Rebecca Stead a “writer of great feeling.”
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Lexile Measure: 0680
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (April 7, 2020)
A long-standing family quarrel leads two cousins on a treasure hunting adventure in The Mystery of Broken Spur Ranch by Barbara Bockman.
After the death of his grandfather, James and his parents fly from India to the family ranch for the reading of his will. Fifteen years ago, differences between James’s father, Gerald, and his Uncle Lawrence over the running of the ranch divided the brothers, and Gerald left to create a new life outside of the States. The family’s return to Broken Spur Ranch shows the brothers’ stubbornness remains alive and well.
Before his death, Grandfather Hanover devised a plan to reunite his sons with the help of their children. James and his cousin, Thomas, must work together to solve grandfather’s riddle and save the ranch … and their families.
I loved everything about this story. It brings together two boys brought up in different parts of the world who must work together despite their cultural differences. The boys are tasked with a tall order considering James knows nothing about ranch life and doesn’t even ride. Thomas seems to have the advantage, but he still must learn to lean on James’s abilities if he wants to solve the riddle. The hardest part: can the two boys find a way to end the long-standing disagreement between their fathers and save the ranch? The stakes don’t get much higher than that.
The Mystery of Broken Spur Ranch has a fun cast of characters, an interesting plot, and a great ending. The story moves along at a good pace, and the mystery keeps the reader moving forward. This is not the first book I’ve read from Bockman. I certainly hope it won’t be my last. She knows how to tell a story that engages young readers.
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Paperback: 114 pages
Publisher: Independently published (August 9, 2019)
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.