Posted by: nancyisanders | June 8, 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!

Today’s stop on my virtual Book Launch Party is taking place at the site of children’s author Mary Cronk Farrell.

Visit her site to learn more about Frederick Douglass as well as the important role black troops had in the Civil War!

The prize that you can enter today for a chance to win is a set of autographed full-color bookmarks for my new book, Frederick Douglass and Kids! Here’s what to do to get your name in the hat today for a chance to win the prize. (A winner will be announced on Monday, June 11 here on my blog.)

Visit Goodreads and read portions of the book in their Google preview. Then post a 5-star review of Frederick Douglass for Kids at Goodreads!

Visit Amazon and read portions of the book in their “Look inside the book” feature. Then post a 5-star review of Frederick Douglass for Kids on Amazon!

Just post one 5-star review and e-mail me at to let me know. I’ll put your name in the hat for a chance to win a free set of autographed bookmarks.

And if you post two 5-star reviews (at both Goodreads and Amazon)…well guess what?! I’m offering a new prize just today for a free critique of the first page of your manuscript. I know I have some readers around the world in different timezones, so just e-mail me when you read this and I’ll put your name in the hat. I’ll announce this winner on Monday, June 11. People pay big bucks for a first page critique like this so don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to get a free critique AND help spread the news about this important book.

About Frederick Douglass!
Here on my blog during the book launch party, I’m sharing photographs I took with my husband Jeff as we traveled through the eastern states where Frederick Douglass once lived. Midway through out trip, one of our sons, Ben, joined us, too.

One of the places we stopped at was a historic site called Mount Misery. It is now a private residence of someone quite well-known, so we didn’t ask to come inside. But we stopped at the driveway and took the photo above. It was here that Frederick Douglass experienced some of the darkest days of his life. After living in Baltimore as a house slave, he was moved back to the Eastern Shores of Maryland during the settlement of estate when various property was divided up among family members. The family member Frederick was sent to live with, Thomas Auld, determined that city life in Baltimore had made him unfit to be a slave. So he was sent to live here at Mount Misery with a “slave-breaker” and the brutalities and extreme exposure he experienced during that time plummeted him into darkness and despair.

After various series of events that I explain in detail in my new book Frederick Douglass for Kids, Frederick Douglass tried to escape, but was caught and sent back to live in Baltimore, once again, with his former master, Hugh Auld. Once back in Baltimore, Frederick Douglass learned the trade of being a caulker.

After our visit to the Eastern Shores of Maryland, we traveled to Baltimore to visit the Douglass-Myers Maritime Park and Museum. What a great resource this museum is for learning more about Frederick Douglass and his life in Baltimore as a young man!

This is a mural at the front of the museum. Everyone at the museum was so helpful, and graciously permitted us to take as many photographs as we wanted to use in my new book. That isn’t always the response I get from museums, so I was very, very grateful for their help.

Here’s a display that was inside the museum that shows what the harbor in Baltimore looked like over 100 years ago.

And here’s a display depicting Frederick Douglass working as a caulker, the job he learned as his trade. As a caulker, he made ships that were being built watertight to withstand the long ocean voyages.

And here’s a beautiful quilt on display at the museum when we visited.
This quilt artist also depicted a caulker in her project.

I highly recommend that if you’re ever in the Baltimore area to stop in and explore this museum. It will give you a much deeper understanding and appreciation for Frederick Douglass and the workers in the maritime trade during these years in our nation’s history.


  1. Nancy,
    wow, that is so horrifying to learn about how Frederick was sent to Mount Misery. This book highlights such an important part of our American history. Thanks so much for including me in your book launch party.

  2. I love seeing the pictures you took as you researched. Great blog post.

    • Thanks for sharing in the celebration, Sue!

  3. Thanks to you, too, Mary, for being such a wonderful host for my party! And yes, it’s so sad to think how people can treat other people…even today things like this are still going on around the world. That’s one of the reasons I admire Frederick Douglass sooo much. He truly believed that one person can make a difference in this world, no matter what circumstances we come from. In fact, he spoke on this very topic and it became one of his most requested speeches. You can read his actual speech by going to my book’s website, Frederick Douglass for Kids. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “His famous speech, Self-Made Men.”

  4. Complete. Nancy, when I read your book, it is clear to me that you have turned over every stone and looked in every crevice. It is also very well written. I love the titles of the chapters. I am looking forward to sharing it on the 19th of June.

    • Thanks so much for your kudos, Diane! And I sooo appreciate the hard work you’re doing to help spread the word about this book, too!

  5. Hi Nancy,

    I’ve been enjoying the blog tour and learning about Frederick Douglas. I’ve taken your workshop at the Muse Conference, and its nice to get to know a little more about you and your work. Good luck with the release!


    • Thanks for your kudos, Andrea! It’s so nice to have you along on this journey.

  6. Of all the wonderful images you put here on this post- the quilt won it for me. I think the spirit of Frederick Douglas is smiling down on you.

    • Oh Mirka, isn’t that quilt beautiful? I love to think of the artist who made it, working with purpose on each stitch she made, to convey this spirit of inspiration to us.

  7. Wow! So many hours of research go into such a great project, Nancy. Congratulations. I hope the book launch is a booming success!

    • Thanks, Jean! It’s great to have you here to join in the celebration!

  8. Hi, Nancy, Another wonderful and enlightening book for children — written by you! You have such a skill at bringing out all the important and behind-the-scenes history of whomever you write about, and that is very evident in this latest book. With the lack of History in education nowadays, your excellent book will fill in a lot of gaps for children to know about the past, and how beneficial Frederick Douglass was in changing history through his hard work and dedication. Wishing you much success on your book tour…

    • Kay, that’s my hope, too, that this book will help fill in the gaps and help kids be inspired by the life of this true hero. Thanks for your encouraging words!

  9. Thanks for sharing the photos from your trip. It must have been so much fun to do the research. I’ll be looking forward to reading this book.

    • Thanks, Linda! And yes, it was such a fun experience taking the photos. Thanks for joining in the celebration!

  10. I must have a copy of your new book. It sounds so exciting!

    • Thanks, Sharon! And coming from yourself as a teacher, I’m excited that you’re excited!!!!

  11. Just ordered it on Amazon – a good price!

    • Oh great, Sharon! And will the free shipping option, I think it’s cheaper on Amazon than in the stores!

  12. I love great nonfiction books that are available for kids. It just blesses me when I see my son reading one with as much excitement as he reads fiction! Thanks for writing, Nancy. : )

    • Oh how exciting that your son is learning to love nonfiction books, too! Thanks for sharing, Beth.

  13. Thanks for sharing your research journey, Nancy. I find this information fascinating. Douglass certainly had his impact on America. I’m glad you decided to write about him.

    • I’m so glad you’re sharing in this journey, too! Thanks for your kind words.

  14. Great journey, Nancy. Love the pictures and the information.

    • Thanks for joining in the celebration, Nancy!

  15. You took beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • You’re welcome, Karen. I’m so glad you can join in this journey.

  16. I would have replied sooner…was busy reading your blog… fascinating! I love historical research and your trip sounds (and looks) amazing! I miss the critiques we had. Hope you’re doing well.
    Steve Bjorkman

    • Nice to hear from you, Steve. And congratulations on your new books! I keep seeing them everywhere I turn…the bookstores, publishers catalogs, on the Internet!

  17. I learn more about history today by reading great kid’s books such as yours than I did as a kid. I love the sensory images and details and the hands-on activities, too! Great job!

    • Paula, aren’t history books today amazing?! Thanks for your kudos, too. My hope is that the activities in this book will really make history come alive for kids…and adults, too, as they learn more about this great American hero!

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