Meet Mary Ann Shadd

Meet Mary Ann Shadd

by Elizabeth MacLeod
illustrated by Mike Deas
Scholastic Canada, 2022
ISBN 978-1-4431-9130-2 (hc)
$16.99, 31 pp, ages 7 – 11

This is a third-person narrative with comic- style illustrations (including speech and thought bubbles) chronicling Mary Ann Shadd’s life. The text hooks the reader by opening with a scene set in 1853 with the first copy of the newspaper Shadd published, “Provincial Freeman … a paper by Black people and for Black people,” before beginning to retell Shadd’s story from her birth in 1823 to her death in 1893. The text touches on the Underground Railroad, Shadd’s actions against oppression from age 16 onward, her letters to the editor, her newspaper, her speeches, and her career as a lawyer. Shadd also “started an organization for Black women that promoted education, careers and the fight for the right to vote.” MacLeod’s style brings young readers into an integral part of our history and invites us all to be a part of Shadd’s mission to work “for her rights and the rights of others.”

Classroom Connections: Use this as a research text, a library item, or a classroom read-aloud. This biography provides enough information to teach about abolitionist and suffragist history in a format easily accessible to young readers. Reading Comprehension Strategies: Asking Questions, Making Connections, Transforming.

Review by Amanda Parker.

This review is featured in Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Winter 2023 issue.

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