Under the Freedom Tree, by Susan VanHecke

There's No Friend Like a Book

In this blog feature, I share a picture book I really enjoy and externalize my process of reading it. I’m hoping this will be useful for those of you who are educators sharing books with kids and perhaps give you ideas of some elements you could include in your book discussions.

Under the Freedom Tree
by Susan VanHecke, illus by London Ladd
Charlesbridge, 2014

Getting Ready to Read

Today I am reading a book called Under the Freedom Tree. Before I read it, I flip through it to get some ideas about it. On the cover, I see that author is Susan VanHecke. I know she’s the author because the other name has “Illustrated by” in front of it. I know her a little bit, so I’m really hoping I like the book. From the title and the picture on the cover, I’m wondering if this book is about slavery. When I flip through the pages, the pictures show soldiers and also a lot of black people doing hard work. The words are arranged on the pages like a poem, and I also wonder if it’s going to be a rhyming book. I see the book has several different parts, and each section starts with a big number that is a year: 1861, 1862, etc. So I know the events of this book happened a long time ago. It looks like there’s more information at the back of the book in an Author’s Note. A lot of times, author’s notes are used in nonfiction books, so I think the events in this book might be true. Now I feel ready to read. More tomorrow….


This blog post was cross-posted on my blog, Laura Purdie Salas: Writing the World for Kids

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