Allison's Book Bag

Inspiring a Love of History

Posted on: April 30, 2013

Can an unlikely friendship change history?

The above question comes from the back cover of Fight for Freedom, a historical graphic novel about from the Civil War from co-authors Stan Mack and Susan Champlin. Fight for Freedom was a 2012 Junior Library Guild selection.


Stan Mack and Susan Champlin are co-authors of Fight for Freedom and Road to Revolution, two graphic novels based on historical events. Mack is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a former art director of The New York Times Sunday Magazine. He pioneered a documentary style of storytelling with the New York comic strip “Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies.” Champlin is a freelancer, who has served on the staff of a number of magazines and edited cookbooks.


English: African American Civil War Memorial, ...

English: African-American Civil War Memorial, U St. NW; sculpture by Ed Hamilton, installed in 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both  Fight for Freedom and Road to Revolution have a Prologue which gives a historical background for the stories, and an Epilogue which separates fact from fiction. For example, here is some of the historical background pertinent to the novel.

  • The children of slaves often grew up alongside the owner’s children on the plantation.
  • Slave hunters worked throughout the South hunting down runaway slaves for money and many turned to trickery (including ripping up slave identification papers) to grab a profit.
  • The character of Zeke was inspired by the real-life Thomas Morris Chester, the only African-American reporter for a major newspaper during the Civil war.
  • Because the fighting ranged everywhere throughout the South  and there were so many wounded, many private homes were turned into hospitals.
  • Clara Borton was the first female nurse to demand to serve on the American battlefields. She went on to establish the American Red Cross.
  • Abraham Lincoln’s favorite Shakespeare play was MacBeth.
  • In 1862, African-Americans were allowed to enlist in the Union Army in noncombat jobs. One year later, the Bureau of Colored Troops was established.

You can also check out the Road to Revolution! Teacher and Student Guides:


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I am focusing this year on other commitments. Once a month, I’ll post reviews of Advanced Reader Copies. Titles will include: Freddy Frogcaster and the Flash Flood by Janice Dean, One Two by Igor Eliseev, Incredible Magic of Being by Kathyrn Erskine, Dragon Grammar Book by Diane Robinson, and Wide as the Wind by Edward Stanton.



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