Free At Last! a book in the Graphic America nonfiction series embodies the very essence of how the Freedmen impacted American History. At first glance the book pulls educators in with its educational possibilities and students in with its dialogue and graphic novel setup. The extensive and well-explained table of contents highlights Sharecropping, the Klu Klux Klan, and black codes. Bold words appear to later be found in a glossary, as well as asterisks to mark actual quotes. An African American historical timeline follows the story, ranging from 1863 to 1896. The bold words from the back appear again in the glossary, which is followed by the index as well as a web finder. Each thought-provoking chapter with vivid and detailed pictures paints a clear scene of the past events of our country. Each pane includes a summarizing paragraph as well as captions. The summaries provide an excellent introduction or conclusion for each page, while the dialogue helps one to imagine what historical figures must have been thinking. Even without the words, the illustrations provide a way to see into the minds of the figures through their facial expressions. Perritano has managed to create a nonfiction piece which reads more like a story.
Erin L. Schneider, Bowling Green State University, EDTL 6950