Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States

by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack

Patricia and Fredrick McKissack examine the complex issue of slavery and emancipation... read more

Patricia and Fredrick McKissack examine the complex issue of slavery and emancipation in this thoroughly researched volume. The authors provide excellent clarification about the end of slavery in the United States—something that happened as a series of actions and events over time rather than being the result of one grand proclamation. The authors’ many sources include primary materials ranging from diaries and slave narratives to official government documents. Quotes and histories of ordinary people on both sides of the slavery issue, as well as those whose names are well known, cast history in human terms. Among its many strengths, the book allows for deeper understanding of Abraham Lincoln’s actions and motivations, showing how these changed over time. Those who rightly insist that children and teens understand that Lincoln’s first and foremost concern was maintaining the Union, rather than freeing the slaves, will not be disappointed. At the same time, the McKissacks convey how and why Lincoln came to be viewed as “the Great Emancipator.” There are occasional lapses in the editing that are unfortunate, but they cannot detract from the overall power of this fascinating book that is illustrated with reproductions of period photographs and paintings. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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