BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

My Name is Henry Bibb: A Story of Slavery and Freedom by Afua Cooper

My Name Is Henry BibbA fictionalized biography of a heroic young man born into slavery in 1814 and determined against all odds to be free. With the history of slaveowners abusing their women slaves reflected in his pale face, Henry Bibb could pass for white. Raised together with the motherless master’s daughter who also drank his mother’s milk, Bibb did not initially understand his enslaved condition. As he was separated from his childhood companion – who turned away from him without a second thought – Bibb would eventually be separated from his family and placed into service again and again in more and more abusive conditions. Freedom was the only reason he struggled to survive.

Cooper’s young readers’ version of a hideously difficult life is both heartbreaking and inspiring. It’s a testimony to the horrors of slavery and the triumph of the human spirit even in the most demeaning, degrading situations. The well-written story also provides a welcome teaching tool as our children return for the new school year, and study the historic tragedies that hopefully will never be repeated again.

Check out My Name is Phillis Wheatley, also by Cooper, posted above.

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Published: 2009


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