"An excellent account of the many ways in which slaves participated in bringing down the greatest evil in our nation's history." - KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)
A man who cannot swim leaps off a slave ship into the dark water. A girl defies the law by secretly learning to read and write. A future abolitionist regains his will to live by fighting off his captor with his bare hands: "I will not let you use me like a brute any longer," Frederick Douglass vows. Drawing from authentic accounts, here is a chronology of resistance in all its forms: comical trickster tales about outwitting "Old Marsa"; secret "hush harbors" where Africans instill Christian worship with their own rituals; and spirituals such as "Go Down Moses," whose coded lyrics signal not just hope for deliverance, but an active call to escape.
Boldly illustrated with extraordinary oil paintings by award-winning artist Shane W. Evans, and meticulously researched by Doreen Rappaport, this stunning collection - spanning the period from the early days of slavery to the Emancipation Proclamation - is an invaluable resource for teachers, parents, libraries, students, and people everywhere who care about what it means to be free, what it is to be human.
About the Author
Doreen Rappaport is the recipient of a Children s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work. Her books have been praised for both their careful research and their varied literary styles. Among the many titles to her name are a trilogy on African-American history, illustrated by Shane W. Evans; books on Native American history and women s history; and many biographies, including Lady Liberty: A Biography, illustrated by Matt Tavares. Beyond Courage, her most ambitious project to date, took more than six years to research and write and presented her with the opportunity to speak directly with some of the survivors whose stories are told within. How Jews organized themselves in order to survive and defy their enemy is an important but still neglected piece of history, she says. I present a sampling of actions, efforts, and heroism with the hope that I can play a role in helping to correct the damaging and persistent belief that Jews went like sheep to the slaughter. Doreen Rappaport lives in upstate New York.
Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of more than thirty picture books for children, including The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner, and the author and illustrator of Olu's Dream. He has exhibited his art in West Africa and Paris and in Chicago, New York, and other major U.S. cities. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space.