FICTION
The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of a Slave's Journey from Bondage to Freedom
illus. by Damon Smyth & Marissa Louise. 192p. bibliog. index. Crown/Ten Speed. Jan. 2019. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9780399581441.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarWalker uses the three autobiographies of 19th-century activist Frederick Douglass, who was formerly enslaved, as the core sources for this new biography. The author's extractions from the subject's descriptive passages, musings, stated opinions, and cogent observations make for a compelling work. Smyth's images advance the text's details, capturing people and settings: proportionate sizes between adult masters and enslaved children; expressions of wonder, anger, and uncertainty; planters' shacks and the city of Baltimore. That Douglass was an early fan of photography and had his portrait taken several times across his long life aids in Smyth's representations of him. Prose and art combine seamlessly for an excellent introduction to the complex exterior and interior lives of Douglass.
VERDICT For all graphic novel collections.–Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA

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