Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, Illustrated by James E. Ransome

This picture book biography chronicles the youth of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African American figures in American history. Douglass spent his life advocating for the equality of all, and it was through reading that he was able to stand up for himself and others. This is a moving and captivating look at the young life of the inspirational man who said, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History

By Walter Dean Myers, Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Frederick Douglass was a self-educated slave in the South who grew up to become an icon. He was a leader of the abolitionist movement, a celebrated writer, an esteemed speaker, and a social reformer, proving that, as he said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Who Was Frederick Douglass

By April Jones Prince, Illustrated by Robert Squier

Born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, Frederick Douglass was determined to gain freedom. Once he realized that knowledge was power, he secretly learned to read and write to give himself an advantage. After escaping to the North in 1838, as a free man he gave powerful speeches about his experience as a slave. He was so impressive that he became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln.

Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery

By William Miller, Illustrated by Cedric Lucas

Born into slavery, young Frederick Douglass dreams of the day he and his people will be free. Yet until that day, his only escape is through the books he reads. They take him to worlds far from his own. When a menacing overseer named Covey sees that Frederick is different from the other slaves, he sets out to “break” him. But Frederick’s surprising response to Covey’s brutality is an act of courage that frees forever what no person can hold captive: his spirit. 

Frederick Douglass Abolitionist Hero

By George E. Stanley, Illustrated by Meryl Henderson

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery. He was separated from his family when he was young. He worked day and night and was beaten for no other reason than the color of his skin. How could anyone ever overcome such overwhelming odds? But Frederick eventually became a famous abolitionist, author, statesman, and reformer. He triumphed over impossible obstacles and paved the way for others to achieve freedom.

Frederick Douglass: National Geographic Readers

By Barbara Kramer

Discover the world of one of America’s most celebrated abolitionists, writers, and orators and learn about his life, achievements, and the challenges he faced along the way.

Frederick Douglass (True Books)

By Josh Gregory

Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass knew from an early age that all people deserved freedom. Discover how he secretly educated himself and taught fellow slaves how to read. And how he escaped to freedom and became one of the nation’s most persuasive voices for abolition.

Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas

By Dean Robbins, Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Aiko

Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories fighting to win rights for women and African Americans. This story is inspired by a statue in their hometown of Rochester, New York, which shows the two friends having tea.

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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