Henry's Freedom Box

By: Ellen Levine Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson

Ellen Levine was born in New York City. She received her B.A. degree in Politics from Brandeis University, graduating Magna cum laude. She has a Master's degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law. She has worked in film and television, taught adults and immigrant teenagers in special education and ESL programs, and served a law clerkship with Chief Judge Joseph Lord, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A former staff attorney with a public interest law group, Levine now devotes her time to writing, lecturing, and teaching. She is on the faculty of Vermont College's MFA program in writing for Children and Young Adults. The illustrator is of African-American decent. The topics this book covers is slavery.

Vocabulary Words:

Slave- a person who is the legal property of another and is forced obey then

Master- a man who has people working for him


  • Pg. 3: “Do you see those leaves blowing in the wind? They are torn from the trees like slave children are torn from their families.”
    • Why does Henry’s mom say that slave children are like leaves?
  • Pg. 8: “Free bird! Happy bird!
    • Do you think Henry wants to be like the birds?
  • Pg. 8: “The leaves swirled in the wind.”
    • Why do you think that the author tells us about the leaves here?
  • Pg. 16: Does Henry look happy here? Why not?
  • bird?
  • Pg. 29: How do you think Henry is feeling now that he’s in the box?