Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Review ~ If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America

Title: If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America

Written by: Anne Kamma

Illustrated by: Pamela Johnson

Soft cover: 64 pages

Ages: 9-12

Publisher: Scholastic

ISBN: 13: 978-0-439-56706-0

Published: February 2004

Price: $6.99

Imagine if you will being kidnapped at the age of eight and sold into slavery. Slavery? What is slavery you may ask? Slavery is when one person owns another and the slave must obey all orders from their owner.

Slavery existed well before the first slaves arrived in Jamestown, the fist British settlement in America in 1607. Captured in Africa, over 20 million Africans were forced to travel in terrible conditions on the sea voyage aboard crowded ships, where disease and beatings ran rampant. Many did not survive the trip and for those who did faced a horrible life as a slave.

If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America captures in fascinating detail the life of a slave and the deplorable circumstances they endured. Ms. Kamma presents the historical facts of slavery in easy to understand narrative and quotes from actual slaves. Blending the two into a journey back into time which the reader will NOT soon forget, thankfully so, because to have such a dreadful time to rear its ugly head again would be horrendous.

Learn more about Anne Kamma at:  

Visit illustrator, Pamela Johnson at:

Reviewed by Donna M. McDine.


  1. This sounds like a great book introducing the topic to students in an interesting story. I will add it to my list of must reads. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is really interesting. A different spin for kids is good.

  3. Thank-you for this. I always enjoy finding more books for homeschooling my 8 year old.

    I like that this book documents actual statements from slaves.

    Will add this to my next book order.

    Thanks, Donna!

  4. Donna,
    This so very informative. Thank you so much.
    Nicole Weaver

  5. This sounds like a good book for school children studying the Civil War. While the Civil War was not fought to end slavery, it was the need to protect the southern way of life that prompted the trouble between the North and the South, and this is important information for kids.

    Thanks for directing my attention to this book.


  6. Those were sad days for our country. I'm thankful we've progressed as far as we have. Children need to read about the past, so we don't repeat it.

  7. My curiosity about history began with a desire to understand slavery and moved into a fascination with the Cold War and Holocaust. This book sounds like it's right up my alley.
    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer

  8. Interesting review. Thank you for including a link to the author and the illustrator so I could learn more about both of them.

  9. You always review the most interesting books. Thanks for that.

    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Home


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