As a boy, young Frederick Douglass lived apart from his mother. She lived twelve miles away from him, and it was only on special nights that they were able to visit with each other. So happy to be in each others' company, she would tell him of the twelve mile journey she'd make to see him. Every mile had a meaning: forgetting, remembering, listening, looking, and more. Every mile was part of the journey to reach her son. And once they'd had some time together, she would make the twelve mile walk back. And in between visits, they would depend on the love that stretched twelve miles long.
This is a beautiful, inspiring, heartbreaking book. The text and the images work really well together to show the love and excitement when the mother and the son are together and the sadness and strength when they are apart. The tone for this is set fairly early on when Frederick asks "Mama, why can't I live with you?" and as the page turns it reveals the image of his mother working in a field. She is sad and tired but determined and strong. This picture sent a shock through me and was such a powerful start to the book. It's a biography, a history book, and a story of a parent and a child - and of love. Don't miss this book.
Don't miss Glenda Armand's website or Colin Bootman's website.
See more at Lee and Low Books.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
The Steel Pan Man of Harlem by Colin Bootman
Young Frederick Douglass: The Man Who Loved to Read by Linda Walvoord Girard
Frederick Douglass: A Noble Life by David A. Adler