Item description for Freedom's Pen: A Story Based on the Life of Freed Slave and Author Phillis Wheatley (Daughters of the Faith Series) by Wendy Lawton...
Overview Presents a fictionalized biography of the girl who was brought to America from Gambia as a slave and who later gained fame as an African American poet of great renown, from her time in Africa until she gained her freedom. Original.
Publishers Description The "Daughters of the Faith" series has been a great success for Moody so far with 120,000 copies sold. "Courage to Run" is the most successful, with sales of 39,000. "Tinker's Daughter" is the next highest, at more than 19,000. They are all continuing to grow. There are a few elements of this series that separate it from many other children's book biographies. First, these books are about little girls. They are not biographies of the entire life of these characters- these are stories about girls who made a difference while they were still young. This enables the young girl readers to relate to the characters more than they would if these characters had to wait until they were thirty or forty before doing anything significant. Second, these stories are faith journeys. Wendy gets inside the minds of these girls in order to portray their struggles to make God an active part of their lives. In 1761, Phillis Wheatley was a little girl of seven or eight years old when she was captured in Gambia and brought to America as a slave. But she didn't let her circumstances keep her down. She learned to read and write in English and Latin, and showed a natural gift for poetry. By the time she was twelve, her elegy at the death of the great pastor George Whitefield brought her worldwide acclaim. Phillis became known to heads of state, including George Washington himself, speaking out for American independence and the end of slavery. She became the first African American to publish a book, and her writings would eventually win her freedom. More importantly, her poetry still proclaims Christ almost 250 years later.
Citations And Professional Reviews Freedom's Pen: A Story Based on the Life of Freed Slave and Author Phillis Wheatley (Daughters of the Faith Series) by Wendy Lawton has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 01/05/2009 page 47
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Studio: Moody Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.5" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2009
Publisher Moody Publishers
Series Daughters Of The Faith
ISBN 0802476392 ISBN13 9780802476395
Availability 0 units.
More About Wendy Lawton
WENDY LAWTON, an award-winning writer, sculptor, and doll designer, founded the Lawton Doll Company in 1979. She currently works as an agent for the Books & Such Literary Agency. Wendy has written numerous books, including six for her Daughters of Faith series and four for her Real TV series. Wendy is active in her church and is a frequent speaker for women's groups. Wendy and her husband, Keith, are parents to three adult children and live in Hilmar, California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Freedom's Pen: A Story Based on the Life of Freed Slave and Author Phillis Wheatley (Daughters of the Faith Series)?
Inspiration for All Ages Apr 25, 2009
A tragic beginning, an unlikely intervention, and a life of hope and love... in the hands of a master storyteller. Award-winning author, Wendy Lawton, does it again in her most recent installment of The Daughters of the Faith series. Freedom's Pen is an historical fiction stand-alone billed for eight to twelve-year-old girls, but a book even the most sophisticated reader will enjoy.
Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped into slavery, sold on an auction block and transplanted into pre-revolutionary war-brewing Boston. She lived during a time when slave children remained uneducated, women were rarely published and most didn't believe a slave could learn to read much less become a celebrated writer. Despite all odds, she became a popular poet, the first African-American to publish a book, and one of the first writers to earn a living from her work. Maker of literary and American history Phillis Wheatley lived a life of humility and grace.
Lawton retells Phillis's early years with captivating scintillation. She flawlessly knits known facts and fictional details into a riveting story of loss, hope, and triumph. The reader is transported to Africa, the horrors of a slave ship, and then to the affluent Wheatley home in a way that is historically accurate, but without so much detail as to overwhelm young readers. Lawton handles heavy themes with an eye toward age-appropriateness.
The characters are riveting, real, and complex: from the cruelty of the slave traders, to the generosity and caring of the slave-owning Wheatleys, to Phillis with her heart-wrenching loss, struggle, and ultimate victory. Affluent visitors and resentful slaves in the Wheatley household add additional tension. Faith and prevalent Christian themes are explored and lived out without being preachy.
The ending comes quickly but leaves the reader satisfied. A back-of-book glossary and non-fiction notes add fullness and closure to the reading experience. Highly recommended for anyone with a bent toward history, humanity, or hope.
From the Christian Library Journal; used by permission.
Freedom's Pen Apr 7, 2009
Having read each of Wendy Lawton's, Daughters of The Faith series, I was anxious for Phillis Wheatley's story to come out and Freedom's Pen did not disappoint. I was so taken by little Janxa (African name given by Wendy) that I dreaded the moment I knew was coming when she would be swept away from her family and all she knew. Janxa's tender yet determined character and the close bond between Janxa and her father adds to the drama that soon unfolds.
This amazing story of a sickly little seven-year-old slave girl, and what happens to her on middle passage, and then in the home of the Wheatleys kept me turning the pages. Through the writing of this truly awesome life of Phillis, Wendy Lawton depicts so well the touch and direction of the hand of God. If you don't know the rest of the story, you must read Freedom's Pen. Children will see that age doesn't matter. They can still accomplish great things. Once read I can't wait to pass Wendy Lawton's books on to my grandchildren.
Beautiful Story for Children and Adults Alike..... Mar 31, 2009
I was thrilled to read Wendy Lawton's "Freedom's Pen" for two reasons: I studied the writings of Colonial American slave Phillis Wheatley in an American Literature course and found her a fascinating and compelling character. Also, my daughter teaches disabled children at the Phillis Wheatley School in Kansas City, MO.
As I read Freedom's Pen, I wondered how many at our local school actually knew the story of Phillis, and determined that I would donate this book to their library, since I believe it should be required reading.
Kids who struggle with the ridicule of others, for example, will take much inspiration from the fact that Phillis--even though she was a slave in a prosperous family who treated her well--still endured persecution, even from fellow slaves who were jealous of her superior living conditions. She would regularly end a day in which she'd been unfairly ostracized by writing her heart out. Eventually, her poetry promoted her in society both in America and England.
When I read Phillis's story, I can't help but think of a Scripture verse. "Your gifts will make a place for you." This young girl's gifts for storytelling, her capacity for language, and her humility earned her an enduring place in American history--and in American literature, too.
Thank you, Ms. Lawton, for a superb book about one of my favorite historical characters. I can't wait to pass this one on to the Phillis Wheatley School!
My review by Carter Nelson Mar 9, 2009
Freedom's Pen is an inspiring story about a girl who was first named Janxa. Janxa lived in Africa and was captured by the Tubab (white people) and sent to America. Later, she was named Phillis after her slave ship. She was sold as a slave and adopted by a kind family named the Wheatleys. She was tutored by Mrs. Wheatley's daughter, Mary. Because of this, she started to write poetry at age 13 and eventually was freed.
I liked this story because Phillis never gave up regardless of her position.
By Carter Nelson, age 10
An Engrossing Slice of History Mar 9, 2009
Freedom's Pen is an engrossing story about the woman Phillis Wheatley. We are taken from her childhood and experience her desire from a very early age to to create poems to commemorate other people. I loved the curiosity that Phillis has from a very early age, and her desire to learn where she belongs in the world. Although she has so often been told that everything that happens is the will of Allah, she is taken to America in the most harrowing of experiences, through a slave boat.
God's hand was on Phillis's life and he brought her into the family of the Wheatleys. She begins to read and write and, in the midst of a world where African Americans were treated as though they did not have a soul, begins to create incredible and beautiful poetry.
Wendy Lawton gives us a beautiful and endearing portrait of America's first published African American. We feel as though we are there with Phillis and have the chance to look through the eyes of someone who saw God's will and love in her life despite her slavery