Product Details
List Price:
9 to 12
3 to 7
Trim Size:
8" x 10"
Calkins Creek
ISBN-13: 978-1-62979-306-1
Black-and-white illustrations
Lexile Level:

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About the Book


Even as American Patriots fought for independence from British rule during the Revolutionary War, oppressive conditions remained in place for the thousands of enslaved and free African Americans living in this country. But African Americans took up their own fight for freedom by joining the British and American armies; preaching, speaking out, and writing about the evils of slavery; and establishing settlements in Nova Scotia and Africa. The thirteen stories featured in this collection spotlight charismatic individuals who answered the cry for freedom, focusing on the choices they made and how they changed America both then and now. Includes individual bibliographies and timelines, author note, and source notes.


"Biographical sketches tell of 13 remarkable black men and women… (t)he well-told stories, illustrated with striking silhouettes by Christie, can be read independently of one another…. Accessible, inspiring accounts of courageous men and women." —Kirkus Reviews

“Author Woelfle and illustrator Christie share the stories of African American patriots of the American Revolution, an important and interesting part of history that is not often covered in texts. The personal stories will inspire and guide many who are forging their own path for equal rights today.…a well researched book that will make history relatable for students.” – VOYA

“Woelfle’s storytelling clips nicely along. What elevates this effort are the saucy, old-timey ink illustrations by Christie.” – The Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Students will easily identify with the challenges faced by these notables…Teachers will love the extensively researched text, and librarians will love the in-text quotes, poems, journal excerpts, letters, epitaphs, testimonies, and other primary source content. Skillfully written by multiple award-winning author, Woelfle, and illustrated with pen and ink drawings by award-winning illustrator, Christie, this book…is ideally suited for all middle grades studying early American history, civil rights, and government. Highly Recommended.” - School Library Connection  

 “This outstanding book is not just a history of African Americans, but rather an honest look at the complicated, often hypocritical definitions that Americans have ascribed to the idea of liberty from our earliest days.” -Booklist  

Meet the Author

Gretchen Woelfle

Gretchen Woelfle is the author of multiple award-winning fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, including Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer, Write On, Mercy!: The Secret Life of Mercy Otis Warren, and Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Other Books by Gretchen Woelfle

Meet the Illustrator

R. Gregory Christie

R. Gregory Christie is the illustrator of over fifty children’s books, including The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children, edited by Davida Adedjouma, which won a Coretta Scott King Honor for illustration, and Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth, which was selected as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. He lives in Decatur, Georgia, where he also owns and operates a bookstore that sells autographed children’s books.

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