Mumbet was determined to try.
Mumbet's Declaration of Independence tells her story for the first time in a picture book biography, and her brave actions set a milestone on the road toward ending slavery in the United States."
N- A slave that listened to the Declaration of Independence and fought for the rights that were promised within it's words.
NE- WOW, the opening slaps you in the face with true history- Mumbet didn't have an official name. Children understand this. They are their name- it is who they are, it is all theirs. They may share a first name or a last name but there is only one First, Middle, and Last in their world that is the same as theirs. Even children such as my husband who have the same name as their father, he is called by his middle name which distinguishes him from his father- it is all him.
E- This story holds the reader's attention page to page, through a thought provoking journey of slavery. Mumbet was treated harshly yet inside her she knew that this was not the way the world should be. Her life was hard, Mumbet knew that legally fighting was her only chance of having a chance at freedom- life couldn't get much harder than it already was. The story escalates: Mumbet's life, learning about the new constitution and "All people are born free and equal." Going to a lawyer, fighting in court, winning and quitting her old life.
SE- Victory. My favorite part is that Mumbet gets to select her own name, for a last name she chooses Freeman---- FREE MAN!
S- There are two pages of author's note, bibliography, places to continue reading, and even in depth information about the Massachusetts Constitution during Mumbet's time.
SW- The sustaining words in this story are: Slavery, Constitution, Independence from Britain, pound flax stalks. All of these will tie into curriculum from social studies to science and connect this story to the classroom.
W- Why? Why this story? Why will kids care? Children have a hard time grasping a world of slavery. They have never seen it, their parents, and grandparents weren't alive during slavery. So it has all been stories no different than there was once a singer named Elvis. But, books that take small pieces such as "no name" and can show children the inhumanity of slavery it will help them grasp the realities.
NW- The author needed to understand the real world of slavery, the cruelty, harshness, and inhumanity. But she didn't want a story that frightened children, she wanted to share Mumbet's story. Knowing the real side, it helped the author to write a great book and not sugar coat the abuse or cruelty or selfishness that came from the Ashley's.