Grade 2-4-- Five biographies that have simplified vocabularies, large print, and plenty of black-and-white photographs and illustrations. Throughout the texts, words printed in boldface type are explained in the ``Words to Know'' sections. The selection of words seems capricious, and the definitions simplistic to the point of inaccuracy (e.g., freedom is defined as ``the power to make choices and decisions with responsibility''). The liberal use of exclamation points and choppy sentences lend an old-fashioned primer quality to the books, as in the Frederick Douglass volume: ``Freedom was always on his mind. He wanted to run! Run! Run! His friends said wait. He needed a plan.'' There is a strong need for black history books for young readers, and even with their flaws, these are a step in the right direction. --Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
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