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Children's books

New light on the slave trade and secrets of the past brought to life

From this month there will be plenty of history projects in schools to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade within the British Empire.

Malorie Blackman's anthology will help to enrich this work. She has created a striking book in which autobiographies of slaves and historical accounts of the system under which they suffered are interwoven with stories and poems by recent and living writers.

A section about Capture and Transportation contains a substantial extract from Alex Haley's Roots as well as part of a novel by James Berry. Other topics include The Life of a Slave, which features some of Frederick Douglass's classic narrative of 1845, Slavery in Britain and The Legacy of Slavery.

Olaudah Equiano gives a sober explanation of how he was cheated of his liberty back in the 18th century, while Sandra Agard vividly recreates the experiences of a runaway.

And the editor (pictured below) contributes a chilling account of the dangers faced by those who chose to find freedom for themselves Unheard Voices Stories and poems collected by Malorie Blackman Corgi Books pound;5.99 www.kidsatrandomhouse.co.uk

12-plus

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