Henry's Freedom Box Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Henry dreams of a world where his life belongs to him. But when his family is sold, he risks everything for what he knows is right. With the strength and conviction of the best kind of hero, Henry makes a harrowing journey in a wooden crate - and mails himself to freedom!
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|Listening Length||20 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 23, 2011|
|Publisher||Weston Woods Studios|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #90,208 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#149 in Biographies for Children
#398 in Historical Fiction for Children
#448 in Children's 1800s American Historical Fiction
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The author missed the opportunity to introduce new vocabulary to readers (e.g. abolition, overseer, etc). Introducing vocabulary yourself could easily be done while reading the book with your children. However seeing it in context and in print is ideal. The book does lend itself to work on inferencing. The shortcomings of the book could be used as a teaching tool to facilitate critical thinking skills, and how to read between the lines so that children learn ask questions about what they read rather than accepting everything as “true.”
Illustrations: The illustrations are well executed, but inaccurate at depicting the appearance of slaves. The attire of the slaves does not show any distress, tatters, tears, etc. No marks or scars on any of the slaves. They merely look like black workers of their time. Of course the storyline states they are slaves, but there is power in imagery. The attire is incongruous with their role at the time.
While I understand this is a children’s book playing with semantics and diluting historical facts is not appropriate. It is deceptive and paradoxical to describe a slave master as “being good.” Opportunities were missed and the semantics are problematic.
I returned this book.
CONS: If you want explanations of who every person is, a detailed description of how he felt when his family was taken from him or want to know what happened to him after he was free....please don't buy this book.
PROS: However, if you are someone who is open to speaking with your children about how they think Henry felt when his family was sold off or how he wasn't allowed to show emotion because of where he was and how he was viewed, willing to introduce the term "abolition" without it being written in the book (using context clues), or explaining the gaps that others feel take away from the book...then this is a really great book. The Author has a note at the end of the story that explains a little more about the story and what the Underground Railroad was.
Initially I thought of returning this book. However after reading it once more, found that I could use this book as a bare bones open discussion about slavery with my younger kids and a good place to start for research on Henry's life for older kids since the bibliography is simple.
By Amazon Customer on September 3, 2020
As for the story, it's masterfully told - it has really good pacing for a children's story, the emotions unfold naturally and powerfully, and it really conveys its message in a clear and consistent manner. Children's books can really be atrocious in how they tell a story but this book is excellent.