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A picture of slavery, for youth. Jonathan Walker.

[Detail] A picture of slavery, for youth. Jonathan Walker

Descriptive Writing | Persuasive Writing | Poetry | Children's Literature | Pen Names | Irony and Humor

Children's Literature

One of the most unusual items in Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 is a children's book, "A Picture of Slavery, for Youth," written by Jonathan Walker. Analyze this work, starting with the cover:

  • What does the cover suggest about the book and its content?
  • How is the cover similar to or different from covers of current nonfiction works for young people?
  • Look at the way in which the content is presented—what techniques would seem to appeal to young people?
  • What might you infer about young people’s reading in the 19th century based on this book?
  • Use the Contributor Index to locate other works by the same author. How does the writer’s style in these works compare with the style he uses in the book for children?

As a follow-up to your analysis of the book, write a review of the book or write your own children’s book on slavery.