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Box : Henry Brown mails himself to freedom.

by Weatherford, Carole Boston, 1956-

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: On Order 5 copies
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In a moving, lyrical tale about the cost and fragility of freedom, a New York Times best-selling author and an acclaimed artist follow the life of a man who courageously shipped himself out of slavery.

What have I to fear?
My master broke every promise to me.
I lost my beloved wife and our dear children.
All, sold South. Neither my time nor my body is mine.
The breath of life is all I have to lose.
And bondage is suffocating me.

Henry Brown wrote that long before he came to be known as Box, he "entered the world a slave." He was put to work as a child and passed down from one generation to the next -- as property. When he was an adult, his wife and children were sold away from him out of spite. Henry Brown watched as his family left bound in chains, headed to the deeper South. What more could be taken from him? But then hope -- and help -- came in the form of the Underground Railroad. Escape!

In stanzas of six lines each, each line representing one side of a box, celebrated poet Carole Boston Weatherford powerfully narrates Henry Brown's story of how he came to send himself in a box from slavery to freedom. Strikingly illustrated in rich hues and patterns by artist Michele Wood, Box is augmented with historical records and an introductory excerpt from Henry's own writing as well as a time line, notes from the author and illustrator, and a bibliography.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: ""Geometry. How many sides to a box?" This concrete poem, its words curling into the shape of the number six, opens an unusual and powerful book of poetry. Henry "Box" Brown, born enslaved in 1815 or 1816, famously had himself shut into a wooden crate in Virginia and mailed to freedom in Philadelphia. In a series of sixain poems, the author interprets Brown's autobiography, telling his story in urgent, compelling language. The love and comfort Brown finds with his wife, Nancy, and their children changes to despair when his family is sold and sent to another state. With little left to lose, he proceeds with the perilous escape. Mixed-media illustrations combine thickly textured figures and backgrounds, collage, and painted, folded paper to create images with three-dimensional qualities. As the illustrator says in her note, the pictures convey deep suffering, hope, and determination. Cubic shapes appear frequently, echoing and amplifying the six lines of each poem. Intended for older readers than Henry's Freedom Box (2007), the book artfully expresses difficult truths while being mindful of a child audience."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A powerful assortment of colors, textures, and artistic styles illustrate this true story of how Henry "Box" Brown escaped enslavement in 1849 via a harrowing journey inside a sealed crate. "Inside/ One/ Box/ To/ Flee/ Another," explains one of the more than 50 short poems that comprise this vivid account. Told in Brown's voice, all but one contain six lines: the number of sides in a cube. Weatherford (The Roots of Rap) bases often-lyrical free verse on Brown's own narrative, excerpted in the opening spread. Detailed stanzas, each beginning with a single descriptive term, touch on the brutality of slavery ("Overseers"); the torment that awaited resisters ("Nat"); Brown's deep anguish over losing his first wife and children, sold and forever separated from him ("Courage"); and his subsequent life as a free man ("BOX"). His traumatic, stifling two-day journey ("Baggage") from Virginia to Philadelphia occurs over several claustrophobic spreads. Elaborate mixed-media collages by Wood (Clap Your Hands) employ a box motif, featuring Escher-like cubes alongside folded paper and painted quilt squares. A timeline, notes, and bibliography conclude this rich retelling of Brown's courageous escape. Ages 10--up. (Apr.)■"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects ordreq 03/12/20 xa
Publisher 2020
Description p. cm.
ISBN 9780763691561
Other Classic View