Posted by: nancyisanders | June 15, 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 great site of author Billie Williams of Printed Words.

Visit Billie’s site today to learn more about Frederick Douglass and what it’s like to be on the go as a children’s author.

Today’s contest is the final chance to win a free critique of your picture book OR the first 5 pages of your manuscript. For about 10 years I was an editor with a professional manuscript critique service and since then I’ve helped judge contests (both local and national) for SCBWI as well as do manuscript critiques for various writing conferences I teach at. I love to help writers polish their manuscripts!

Just post a comment here today to say hi, or answer the question below and I’ll put your name in the hat today for another chance to win the prize. (A winner will be announced on Monday, June 18 here on my blog.)

Have you ever visited our nation’s capital or your state capital? Who did you learn about during that trip that impacted our country in their era?

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. Today’s the last day of my celebration, so I wanted to share about the visit we had at Cedar Hill, the final home of Frederick Douglass in Washington DC.

When Jeff and I arrived at the beautiful estate, we were welcomed by two rocking chairs on the front entrance. Jeff and I sat down and experienced what it was like for Douglass and his wife to sit here on warm summer evenings, overlooking the capital of the United States.

Braden Paynter was the park ranger who graciously helped us on our visit and led us inside the house to take photographs in between tours. Thanks, Braden!

Wow! The desk of Frederick Douglass is still there, just as in the famous photograph I’d seen in so many of my research books that I used to write my own book, Frederick Douglass for Kids. The only thing missing was Frederick Douglass himself. You can view the original photograph by clicking here to visit the book’s official website.

And his books! Frederick Douglass rose from slavery to become a famous man of letters. He loved to read! He loved to write! He loved to speak! His amazing personal collection of books is still here at Cedar Hill, many of them in these bookshelves.

Before we left, Jeff and I visited the museum bookstore where we saw this life-sized statue of Frederick Douglass.

Sigh…our amazing 2-week photo-research tour had come to an end.

But for me as a writer, it was just the beginning. We flew back home to southern CA and I started writing a new book on Frederick Douglass that includes photos never before published together in one book, 21 historical activities, and fresh insight on the life and character of this true American Hero.

You can purchase this book today to read yourself, read to a child, or give to a favorite teacher, educator, or friend. It’s available on Amazon.


  1. I have loved the photos you took and learning about this great man. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Gloria, it’s so great to have you here to help celebrate the release of my new book. I can hardly wait to see your new book, too!

  2. I love the daily tid-bits that you’re posting with photos. There are so many people from history who had tremendous character who left a great legacy for the rest of us.

  3. Beth, it’s been wonderful to connect during this Book Launch Party as fellow history lovers!!!

  4. What another grand house! You and Jeff look right at home in those rocking chairs! I wonder what books Mr. Douglass collected. I bet writing this book was like no other since you actually toured the area and saw things from his physical point of view. Out of all your books for this publisher, do you feel this is the best one? or maybe the one with the most insight? (All your books are wonderful, but this one you were actually there..)

    • They actually have a list of books in Douglass’s library, Tina! You can see this list on the online resources page for the book’s official website, Frederick Douglass for Kids. Just scroll down and click on the link to “Collections page at the National Park Service.”

      And oh…that’s a hard question!!!! Of the 4 books I’ve written for this publisher, I definitely know that my skills at handling Creative Nonfiction were the best yet and that the collection of photographs we supplied was the best I’ve gathered personally, but I would have to say that I appreciate and value each one of the 4 titles equally. It’s kind of like saying I love all my children the same even though each one has different strengths and weaknesses. :o)

      • Thanks for answering my question, Nancy!

  5. Nancy,

    Thank your for sharing your pictures. I loved seeing Frederick Douglas’s desk and bookcase. To rock in his chair and take in the view he looked out on, must have sent a few tingles up your spine.

    That’s my kind of vacation, a pictoral one, where later the pictures stir up all the exciting feelings that you felt then. Good luck on your new book.

    • Thank you, Marge! And yes, it was definitely a vacation of a lifetime! Sitting in his rocking chair was a thrill!!!!

  6. No, haven’t visited the Nation’s Capital, but my husband visited and his experience has made us determined to take our children to visit. Heritage is founded upon those who lived, loved, and died to build a sure foundation for us now. I have made efforts to visit our local City Hall, visited the CA & UT & CT State Capitals over my lifetime, visited Mount Rushmore (monumental experience at age 10), and been to Mark Twain’s home in CT…each has its place in history, encourages, and inspires me to do better with upholding truth and the freedoms of our great Nation. Hallowed halls are indeed prized places to stand and witness. For those who know and read and love non-fiction, we cherish good honest books. Smiles!!

    • Wow, you’re really helping build a godly heritage in your home! I can hardly wait till you get to make it to Washington, DC, too! What a treasure that will be. Thanks for sharing, Annalisa!

  7. Hi Nancy,

    I loved your photos and your tour. You are one talented lady and visiting the abode of a great writer and historian is always such a thrill. This must have been a trip of a life time for you.

    I’m sorry that the tour is over too. I SO thoroughly enjoyed it!


    • Thank you for your kind words, Irene! And thank you so much also for being such a valuable party of my celebration by hosting my Book Launch Party on Monday!!!

  8. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing and hearing about your tour and your book(s). Your writing and research have reinforced for me the importance of primary sources. Thanks.

    • I’m glad to hear, Virginia, about primary sources. Yes, they are really an eye-opener for us as writers doing research!

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