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Reviewed by Rolanda Lyles for Readers' Favorite
Berwick Augustin's 1803 - Black Freedom is a bilingual story that tells the story of Haiti's culture and history. Black Freedom is about Pouchon, a middle school student of Haitian descent, who is trying out for his school's soccer team. After seeing the others who are trying out for the team, he tells his father that it would be impossible to make the team against his bigger and faster classmates. His father takes that opportunity to tell Pouchon a story about the Bataille de Vertières, and how their leader, Francois Capois, led the Haitian soldiers to take over the last French base called Fort Vertières. Capois was afraid as well, but he decided to be brave. Pouchon's father tells him that he should be brave and try out for the team as well. You can do anything you put your mind to.
Berwick Augustin's 1803 - Black Freedom is a compelling story of bravery that is saturated with rich Haitian history. The beautiful illustrations vividly portray the story and add to the effect. I appreciate Augustin's lessons encouraging youngsters to be brave and to dare to dream big. The power and importance of parental and family support are also important for our young people, and Augustin exemplified this well in his writing. These are great things to instill in our young people. Berwick Augustin's 1803 - Black Freedom is about Haitian history, but the story of bravery is relatable to anyone. I learned so much about Haitian history from reading this story and found it a very enjoyable read.