Monday, June 4, 2012

Interview with Author Nancy I. Sanders--and a Book Launch Party!

The last few weeks I have been talking about writing for the educational market. Today I am celebrating  with Nancy I. Sanders, a wonderful author who has published many books in this market. 

Nancy has just launched her new book, Frederick Douglass for Kids: His Life and Times with 21 Activities, from Chicago Review Press.  

I am so pleased to be today's stop on Nancy's virtual book tour. These parties are such fun! Drop by Nancy's website to see what all she has planned for the coming weeks. The girl knows how to celebrate. And I'm sure there will be party favors from this generous author. 

A Bit about the Book
Few Americans have had as much impact on this nation as Frederick Douglass. Born on a plantation, he later escaped slavery and helped others to freedom via the Underground Railroad. In time he became a bestselling author, an outspoken newspaper editor, a brilliant orator, a tireless abolitionist, and a brave civil rights leader. He was famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the years leading up to the Civil War, and when war broke out, Abraham Lincoln invited him to the White House for counsel and advice.
Frederick Douglass for Kids follows the footsteps of this American hero, from his birth into slavery to his becoming a friend and confidant of presidents and the leading African American of his day. And to better appreciate Frederick Douglass and his times, readers will form a debating club, cook a meal similar to the one Douglass shared with John Brown, make a civil war haversack, participate in a microlending program, and more. This valuable resource also includes a time line of significant events, a list of historic sites to visit or explore online, and web resources for further study.

And Here's Nancy! 

Nancy I. Sanders is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 80 books including America’s Black Founders, A Kid’s Guide to African American History, and D Is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet. She teaches other writers how to launch their career to the next level based on material found in her groundbreaking book for writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career. Nancy and her husband, Jeff, live in southern California. They have two grown sons, Dan and Ben.

And now for the Questions....

Who was Frederick Douglass?
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland. Yet when he became a young adult, he bravely escaped along the Underground Railroad and fled north. He began speaking out against slavery and became quite famous on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean as a brilliant orator. He became the most famous African American leader of his day, a friend of Presidents, and a respected statesman.

What do you hope young readers will learn about Frederick Douglass?
Frederick Douglass was a civil rights leader in the years surrounding the Civil War, long before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Everywhere he went and everything he did he tried to change things for the better. Even though he started out in poverty and oppression, he rose up to take a powerful stand for justice. He was a true American hero. I’m hoping that young readers will be inspired by the life and words of Frederick Douglass to make a stand for what is right and be a new hero in their generation today.

What age is this book recommended for?
Typically, children in fourth grade and older study American History and learn about issues such as the Civil War and slavery. Frederick Douglass for Kids is a new resource for teachers, librarians, and homeschooling parents to incorporate into the classroom or educational environment for upper elementary and junior high students. The activities in this book are geared to this age level.

However, because this book also features little-know facts studied mostly at the university level, it’s also a great teaching tool for high school students and even college classes that focus on this era. One of the things that the publisher, Chicago Review Press, has discovered about the “For Kids” series that this book is a part of is that adults like to read these titles too. That’s because the information is very in-depth and academic, but it’s written in a more conversational and reader-friendly style than an academic textbook usually is.

There are already a great number of books on Frederick Douglass. What makes this one different?
There are two main differences in this book about Frederick Douglass that makes it stand out from others.

First, this book is part of a series that features 21 historical-based activities in it. So readers get to cook an authentic meal, just like the one Frederick Douglass shared with famous abolitionist John Brown. They get to make a sailor’s hat and scarf, just like the one Frederick Douglass wore as a disguise when he escaped from slavery. They get to learn about micro-financing, similar to the method the bank used to help newly-freed blacks when Frederick Douglass was president of the bank.

Secondly, this book features numerous photographs never before seen in a book about Frederick Douglass. My husband, Jeff, traveled with me as we followed in the footsteps of this great man from his birth to his death. Numerous people gave us permission to take photographs to include in this book and the result is a fresh, new approach to better appreciate his life and the impact he had on our nation and on the world.

What are you doing to celebrate the release of your book, Frederick Douglass for Kids?
I’m hosting a two-week virtual Book Launch Party! There are prizes to win, fun facts to learn, and lots of inside peeks and helpful tips about how a book is born. Stop by my site today to join in the party.  

Thanks, Nancy, for visiting with me here today. 

For more information on Nancy and Frederick Douglass for Kids visit Nancy's author site and the book's site. You may purchase the book here


  1. This is a good interview, Dori. I am always interested in good non-fiction to recommend to colleagues & this looks terrific. I love that there are activities included too, & there is new material, because Nancy is right, there are a lot of books about Frederick Douglas out there. Thanks!

  2. I agree, Linda. New material always sets a book apart. And I love these activities. I can't wait to try making his dinner with John Brown. You know kids are going to love this book.

  3. Doraine, it's a joy to be here on your site today!!! Thanks for being part of my book launch celebration!

    1. I'm so happy to have you here, Nancy. You've been such a wonderful encourager in my writing journey. I appreciate the opportunity to support yours.

  4. And Linda, it's so great to know you're going to recommend my book to your colleagues. Thanks for helping to spread the word! -Nancy

  5. Great interview. The book sounds great--the activities sound especially intriguing.

  6. Thanks, Vicky. The thing I like about this entire series of books is the creativity of the activities. Nancy's book even has one telling how to make a paste to keep flies away!

  7. Terrific interview. This looks like a great book for upper-elementary kids.

    1. Right. I think it's perfect for that grade level. A great resource for teachers, too.

  8. Thanks for your kudos, Vicky. And Doraine, that recipe for keeping flies away was so much fun to find and include in the book. It's amazing the concoctions people used to use before Walmart was invented and we could just go there for all our goodies and cleaning supplies.