Posted by: nancyisanders | June 4, 2012

Book Launch Party: Frederick Douglass for Kids

Welcome back to my book launch party to celebrate the release of my newest book, Frederick Douglass for Kids!

When I first got the idea to write a book about Frederick Douglass, I knew I didn’t want to write it unless I could travel from my home in California to the East Coast where Frederick Douglass had spent his life. So for the first time in my writing career, I planned a 2-week photo-research tour to capture key moments of my subject’s life on film. It was an amazing journey, and one that I wanted to share with you here to help launch my book.

My husband Jeff and I started our trip by following a map put out by the Historical Society of Talbot County. We drove to the spot indicated on the map as the birthplace of Frederick Douglass. We parked our car at the corner of the road. (See above.)

Following the instructions on our map and referring to Frederick Douglass’s own words in his autobiography as a guide, we looked around until we spotted a small grove of trees where the cabin of his grandmother probably used to stand. It was there, in that cabin, that Frederick Douglass was born.

After leaving the site of his birth, Jeff and I drove around the area. We passed fields of corn, farms, and patches of green woods. It was a very moving experience knowing that this great man walked through these fields and woods first as a little child innocent to the tragedies of slavery, but later as a young man who suffered brutally under its terrible power.

As we drove through the area, seeds of story started to sprout and take root deep within my writer’s soul in a very powerful way. I knew that when this trip was over and I returned home to write the book, I could write this new book as I’d never written one before because I had felt, touched, and seen with my own eyes the setting in which this great American hero spent the first part of his life. I also knew this book was going to be very powerful because it would feature photos I was taking that had never before been published in a book about this great man.

If you’d like to look inside my new book, Frederick Douglass for Kids, and purchase it for your own use or as a gift for a young child in your life, you can do both by clicking here on Amazon.

Today’s stop on my virtual Book Launch Party is at the site of my cyberspace writing friend, Dori Reads. Visit her site to learn more about Frederick Douglass and why this new book about him is so special.

Did you know there would be prizes to celebrate my book launch party?! Yes!!! And the first prize is this: A free critique and evaluation of a 1-page query or cover letter for your book. Just post a comment here on my blog and answer one or both of these questions:

What hero has impacted your life? And why do you think it’s important for young children today to be inspired by heroes from America’s past such as Frederick Douglass?

I’ll put everyone’s name in a hat again who posts a comment here today. And if you post a comment on Doraine’s site today, e-mail me at and I’ll put your name in the hat another time, too! In a couple of days, I’ll draw out a winner to receive a free critique of your query or cover letter and announce the winner on Wednesday, June 6 here on my blog.


  1. So excited to have you at my blog today! Thanks for coming over to talk about your fabulous new book.

    • Doraine, it’s a joy to have you be part of the celebration!!!!

  2. Nancy, this is so sweet to hear the passion you have as a result of walking in Fred. Douglass’ footsteps. What a great way to find inspiration and learn more about the subject you’re writing about!

    • Thanks, Val! And thanks for e-mailing me and letting me know you bought the book. I’m so excited you’ll be reading it!!!!

  3. Congratulations on your launch. I hope one is in my future! My hero is John Steinbeck. He wrote about many unpopular subjects and was nearly an outcast in his home town, but he wrote about important things and made a difference.

    • Thanks for sharing about John Steinbeck…I read many of his books over the years! His example goes to show the power we have as writers to help make a difference. And hope you have a book launch in your near future, too!

  4. I have lots of heros, including many hard-working women in American history and the history of my church. One woman that I loved learning about for a writing project was Marie Curie, with her passion for science, her conviction that men and women could be equally good at science, and the way she shared science with one daughter, while allowing the other to pursue her own talents. I have done crazy candy experiments with my own children and we’ve also enjoyed the process of “discovery” together (not that discovering that M’s float is anything like discovering radium.)

    • Thanks for sharing, Loralee! And Marie Curie is one of my personal heroes, too. What an amazing woman she was! And I’m sure you are a hero for your own kids. That’s soo important, too!

  5. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Clay is one of my heroes. Please read about her here:

    • Michelle, what a touching tribute!!!! Thanks so much for sharing about Mrs. Clay and how she truly made a difference in your life.

      • Thank you for taking the time to read it.

      • Michelle, you’re welcome! I was telling my husband about Mrs. Clay, too. He’s a fourth grade teacher and he still reads aloud to the kids nearly every day even though most teachers don’t nowadays, either!

      • I’m sorry to hear many of your husband’s colleagues don’t read aloud any more. Thankfully, most of mine still do, as do my kid’s teachers. It’s so important. (And I’m sure you know, research backs that up!)

      • Michelle, that’s such good news to hear that you and others still read aloud!!! I remember when my fourth grade teacher read Charlotte’s Web aloud to us…it’s still one of my all time favorite books and I’m sure it’s in part because of that wonderful experience.

  6. I’ve been thinking about this post all week, and I’d say that the person who inspires me the most (from history) is James Garfield. He’s a little-known president compared to some, but he was a man with wisdom and great character.

    • Beth, that is so interesting that James Garfield inspires you. Did you know that Frederick Douglass greatly admired him also?

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