If you lived when there was slavery in America
Illustrated by Pamela Johnson
Non-Fiction Picture book (Series)
Ages 7 to 10
Scholastic, 2004, 0-439-56076-8
What was it really like to be a slave in America is the years from 1783 to 1865? What was it like to be “owned” by another person, a person who could use you however they wished? In this book the author answers forty-two questions about slavery and slave life. Among other things readers will discover how the slave trade began, what slaves were expected to do for their masters, how they lived, how they were treated, and what some slaves did to try to get away from slavery.
As they move from question to question young readers will end up getting a very clear picture of slave life. Slave children were often sold away from their families and they had to work from a very early age. They were not allowed to learn how to read and write and they were only able to play once all their chores were done. One of the first things the children living in the slavery Quarters would be taught is that they should never tell the master what took place in the Quarters. What took place away from the “Big House” was to be kept a secret as much as possible.
Well written with an easy to follow and engaging text this is an excellent book for children who wonder what it was like to live in a country where slavery was widespread.
This is one of the titles in the excellent “If you lived…” series; a series of books which helps young readers travel back in time to important points in world history.
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