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Henry's Freedom Box [Hardcover]

Ellen Levine
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 10.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Henry's Freedom Box + A Bad Case of Stripes (Scholastic Bookshelf)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (1 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780439777339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439777339
  • ASIN: 043977733X
  • Product Dimensions: 28.3 x 23 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book 2 Nov 2011
By blade
An absolutely beautiful book based on the true story of Henry 'Box' Brown and his journey to freedom. Was told in a way that was easy for 7-8 year old children to understand and relate to, although it is obviously a sad story. Left them all wanting to know what happened to Henry after he reached freedom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By R
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great story about the tenacity of a man who wanted more than what he was told he would be. The illustrations in this book are awesome.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written... beautifully illustrated 25 Sep 2007
By Zenia
Gorgeous, gorgeous! One to curl up together to read. Just fantastic. I bought one for school and now I'm buying my own copy! Just lovely.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're never too old to read and learn from a picture book! 8 Feb 2007
By Vickie Beene Beavers - Published on Amazon.com
Had the story not been documented, one would believe that the story of a fugitive slave shipping himself to freedom by freight mail was merely a urban legend. In Henry Freedom's Box this unbelievable but daring true story is brought to life. The story authored by Ellen Levine succesfully traces Brown's early life to his ultimate escape to freedom at the age thirty-three. Award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson creates such realistic intimacy with his muted but intense illustrations of former Virginia slave Henry "Box" Brown. In just two pages, the artist convincingly conveys the painful and risktaking trip of Mr. Henry "Box" Brown. This scene, this story will touch any person who can empathize with any harrowing escape.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cost of Freedom 1 Jun 2007
By Kemie Nix - Published on Amazon.com
Born a slave, Henry and his siblings worked in the "big house" for his master -- who, on his deathbed, gave Henry to his son. During the years he worked for the son in his tobacco warehouse, Henry grew to manhood

and married a girl who was enslaved by a neighbor. They had children. His wife accurately discerned that her master had debts that might cause him to sell his slaves. This was done one day while Henry was working.

At lunchtime, he caught a departing glimpse of his family members, and then he never saw them again.

After weeks of despair, Henry had an idea while he was moving a crate. He would mail himself to freedom.This true story is told in understated prose which only enhances its power. With realistic paintings in a dark

palette appropriate for Henry's sad experiences, there are no smiles in this book except on the page depicting Henry's family together. His wife has a gentle half-smile. On the last page when Henry is climbing

out of his box in Philadelphia, both the mailed and the recipients are smiling.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future Reading Specialist Exclaims--MUST READ! 16 May 2007
By Miss - Published on Amazon.com
Synopsis: This picture book shows the character as a young boy on the cover, but this story is really about Henry Brown as a n adult and the incredible decision he made to reach freedom through an ingenious plan. That "Box" as a middle name was adopted by Brown in commemoration of the method by which he gained his freedom. He had himself crated up and shipped from slavery to liberty. His risky plan worked, and this is his story.

Evaluation: Many children in the primary grades may have heard the stories of slave escape through the Underground Railroad but this well written book brings to life the time of slavery and the voice of Henry "Box" Brown. As a child Henry dreams of freedom and the author appeals to the heart and minds of all readers K-3 as the metaphors are simple but effective. The reader is able to get engrossed in the language and pictures for they are truly representative of the time of slavery. The well chosen words the author uses are beneficial for helping a young child see just how devastating slavery was to the slave and their families. When Brown's family was sold, he was determined to escape to the North. His determination and pain leaps off the page and right into our hearts. We are holding our breath as the author describes the decision and the process of which Henry will escape. The story of that escape provides an inspiring view to the younger reader. Along with well-written narrative and metaphors, the awesome and moving illustrations provided by Kadir Nelson create a journey not only for Henry but for the reader. We are able to grow with young Henry to adulthood. This adds to the story so that the reader feels a part of the time and life of Henry. The illustrations tell a story of their own. Kadir Nelson gives the pictures the detail and beauty they need so that the reader is able to visualize Brown's life. Kadir uses minor details to bring this story to life. For instance we see the tear in Henry's eyes as his learns the fate of his family. You also see the seriousness in his eyes and fear in the eyes of his friends as he plots to escape. All these details are shown to the reader so that the curious mind will seek the answers and ask question more to the fae of Henry and the fate of his family. This book will appeal to the young reader and tug at the hearts of adults so that they will be encouraged to seek a biographical account to learn more about the infamous Henry "Box" Brown on their own. This very personal account can be used in classrooms and students could come Henry's escape to that of Harriet Tubman's. They could also write a journal describing the events during Henry's 27 hour journey to freedom.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-read for Kids and Adults of all ages and colors! 8 May 2007
By BeYOUtiful - Published on Amazon.com
Not only is the story itself uplifting and inspiring, but it is truly one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have ever seen. I was nearly moved to tears just reading the book for the first time. The stories of courageous men and women from an era not too long-gone is told and illustrated with poignancy, dignity, and respect. A book like this should be on the shelf of any child studying issues of slavery and freedom in the context of American history, as well as the shelf of any adult who could stand to be reminded of just how far we've come and how far we must still go.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spare story of one man's struggle against slavery 14 Jan 2008
By Deb Nam-Krane - Published on Amazon.com
This story documents the slavery and eventual freedom of one man. Henry and his brothers and sisters work for a good master. However, on his deathbed, the master gives Henry to his son, separating Henry from the rest of his family forever. Henry works well in the master's son's tobacco factory, presumably avoiding the beatings of the foreman. Later, he meets Nancy, a slave of another master. The two are allowed to marry and live together, and eventually they have three children. Unfortunately, Nancy's master suffers a financial loss, and Henry is informed one day that his wife and children have been sold.

The loss of this family is forever too, and Henry is now spurred to seek his freedom so he'll never have to suffer a loss like that again. With the help of two friends- one another slave, one a white doctor who doesn't believe in slavery- he literally mails himself to freedom in Philadelphia.

What I liked most about this book was that the author does not force an emotional response out of the reader because she doesn't have to. Young readers- as well as adults- can immediately appreciate the horror of being separated from your family as a child and then losing your children. The author presents the losses, but doesn't dictate the grief and anger that the main character must have felt. This makes the reader's response that much more powerful.

Although Henry does eventually gain his freedom, his previous losses haunt the end of the story, just as they must have haunted him and countless other American slaves.
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