Seven Miles to Freedom

By Livingston Lord Library

In this detailed, informative non-fiction picture book, Halfmann tells the story of Robert Smalls, as he matures from a young African American bound by slavery into a national hero whose actions impacted American history. . . . The detailed text is accompanied by rich, elaborate, and intricate oil paintings. Smith uses thick, muddled brushstrokes of oil to create figures and images that abstractly bleed into each other and create artistic, beautiful stylization and warmth. Smith’s use of whites and golds give texture and detailing to character’s faces, and the descriptive, cloudy, intimate style of the paintings beautifully accompanies the eloquent, hopeful message of the text. Fourth through sixth graders not only learned history while reading this book, they were also captivated by its message. —Livingston Lord Library, Minnesota State University