Friday, January 6, 2012
WORDS SET ME FREE by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome receives starred review in School Library Journal
We just learned that Lesa Cline-Ransome’S WORDS SET ME FREE, illustrated by her husband, James Ransome, has received a starred review in the January 2012 issue of SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. Here is the review:
"This powerful, eloquent first-person narrative provides a moving account of Douglass’s early life. Born and raised on plantations, he spent his formative years in Baltimore in the 1820s and ’30s. His thirst to learn to read never waivered; he practiced writing with a brick and a lump of chalk, copying the letters of poor white children and stealing a copybook from his master’s son. At 12-years-old, Douglass bought his first newspaper with tips he had earned. He copied words like “liberty,” “justice,” “freedom,” and “abolition” and was inspired. Though this account ends with a hopeful plan to escape, an author’s note reveals that he was unsuccessful but that he did escape in 1838 to New York, where he began his new life as an abolitionist leader. This talented team has created a concise, accessible, beautifully illustrated book based on Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Rich acrylic and oil paintings depict plantation life (poorly clothed slave children kneeling before troughs, devouring cornmeal mush like livestock) and the strong emotions of the people (a young Frederick being transported with hands tied behind his back, lest he escape). This handsome volume is recommended for slightly older audiences than William Miller and Cedric Lucas’s Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery (Lee & Low, 1995)."
WORDS SET ME FREE also received a starred review in the November 28, 2011 issue of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, and James and Lesa's daughter is in the process of making book trailers for both WORDS SET ME FREE and WHEN GRANDMAMA SINGS, which we will share as soon as they are ready.
In the meantime, congratulations Lesa and James!