Love Twelve Miles Long

By School Library Journal

As a young child, Frederick Douglass was separated from his mother and sent to live on another plantation. From this slight piece of history, Armand weaves a story that illuminates a mother’s love and amplifies the power of the human spirit. As historical fiction, the freedom exists to speculate on what Harriet Bailey would be thinking as, after working in the fields all day, she walks 12 miles at night to see her son. Harriet and Frederick go over the miles like a mantra: forgetting, remembering, listening, looking up and seeing, wondering, praying, singing, smiling, giving thanks, hoping, dreaming, and loving. Harriet shares her life with Frederick as she explains the importance of each mile. Without frames or white space, the spreads are completely infused with deep colors. Readers are in the night with Harriet and Frederick, almost as if nothing exists outside of their warmth. . . Although Harriet probably would not have had permission to leave her own plantation, this account is not about escape, tracking dogs, or slave hunters. As an ode to the love a mother has for her son, it is sweetly successful.