Title: The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls
Author: Janet Halfmann
Illustrations: Duane Smith
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Robert Smalls was born into slavery in 1839. He was a favored slave when he was young, but when he was older, he still dreamed of freedom. When he was twelve, he was sent to Charleston to work and that is where he learned about the free slaves in the north. In Charleston, Robert discovered how much he loved being on the waterfront and was given permission to work at the docks. Eventually, Robert learned about the ships that came through the Charleston harbor and soon became a wheelman. In time, with the help of some crewman, Robert planned an escape using the ship the Planter during the Civil war. He managed to save others and in the north was seen as a hero. In 1875 he became a United States Congressman and served five terms.
There is a lot more to the story of Robert Smalls. This book is packed full of history about slavery, ships and even a timeline of events. Young readers will find this short read engaging and easy to navigate. Parents and teachers will enjoy sharing a bit of African American history with kids.