Freedom Ship (Hardcover)

By Doreen Rappaport, Curtis James (Illustrator)

Jump At The Sun, 9780786806454, 40pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2006



Samual and his family are born slaves. Every day they look beyond the harbor filled with Confederate ships, to the Atlantic Ocean, where the Union ships are--and potentially, their freedom. If only they could get to those ships somehow....Then, on May13, 1862, Samuel and his family risk it all to be free. Based on a true story, Doreen Rappaport weaves a riveting tale of a boy and his family aboard the gunboat Planter. Captained by Robert Smalls and loaded with fellow slaves, the ship flees to the Union fleet to gain freedom from slavery and deliver much-needed ammunition to the Union Navy. Rappaport's suspenseful account, illustrated with the moody paintings of Curtis James, creates a vivid and relatable picture of this little-known tale of the civil war.

About the Author

Doreen Rappaport ( has written numerous award-winning books for children, including: Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book; and Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. She lives and writes in upstate New York.

Curtis James ( is an award-winning fine artist whose large-scale pastels are exhibited in museums and galleries and held in private collections throughout the country. He is the illustrator of several children's books. Mr. James lives with his wife in Pennsylvania.