Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of Journey to Freedom: The African American Library from MultiCultural Review on September 1, 2003

These are the latest entries to be published in a 42-volume series for middle school students. The large-format books contain text that is serious but easy to follow and a handsome design where most photos are given borders as though they were affixed to the pages of an album. The majority of the volumes in the series are biographies, and these present conventional, chronological accounts. Of particular interest are the photos included of the people, places, and inspirations in each subject’s life; the volume on Hurston, for example, includes illustrations from the Brer Rabbit stories and Kipling’s The Jungle Book that she loved as a child and that later influenced her fiction. The books on abolitionists and the Harlem Renaissance are largely a series of short biographies with some overall context. The cover of the abolitionists volume is a grouping of six portraits of white abolitionists, though both white and black abolitionists are discussed inside. The Ku Klux Klan book gives a full account of its 1865 origins and its resurgence in 1915, along with its place in the hate groups of today. Each book ends with a time line, a list of books and web sites, and a glossary that defines the occasional terms placed in bold type throughout the text.

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