As a lover of history, I have read a lot about slavery in America, but I have never read a book like this. Why Did Slavery End? does such an incredible job explaining the global history of slavery, from slavery in the Bible and ancient times through modern history, in a big-picture way that is easy for kids to understand. I appreciate this book’s explanation of how Christians fought to end slavery, and how some Christians falsely claimed that slavery was not a sin.
Danika Cooley did an amazing job balancing the extremely difficult topic of slavery with an approach that is appropriate for children but that does not ignore the horrible reality of what chattel slavery was. She writes in an engaging style that is easy to read and that kids can relate to.
But this book is so much more than a history book. It includes a closer look at what it means to love your neighbor and care for those in need. It challenges kids to grow in their relationship with God, to live in His strength, to read His Word, and to make a difference every day for Him. I’ve read few books that I believe are as important to share with your kids as Why Did Slavery End?
Wow! Where do I start with this??? Why Did Slavery End? is the perfect book to facilitate important conversations with your kids from a solid biblical perspective. I read this on my own to preview it because I’m super particular with how this topic is communicated. It’s now moved to the top of our family read-aloud stack.
It is written in a sensitive enough way, that my preschooler can be running in and out while we read and I know there will be so much to talk to my teens about as we discuss WHY slavery is so evil and what it took to fight the evils of slavery all over the world. I’ve read a lot on this topic and found so much that I hadn’t known before too. For the adults – or older teens, Danika includes a works consulted section at the end for those who want to read more. And I love timelines, so pouring over the timeline of the push to abolish slavery was fascinating.
The aim for this book is 9–11-year-olds and while a child that age could read it on their own, I highly recommend either reading together or at the very least discussing as they read book-club style. And I wouldn’t shy away from reading this aloud and discussing it with your teens too. The truths are so foundational and needed in navigating our current culture. These are important conversations about what it means to be created in the image of God and how ugly it can get when we get this important truth wrong. Every Christian family should read and discuss this!
I’m really enjoying reading this with my children. Danika uses engaging storytelling to explain the wrongs of slavery and how the global slave trade ended across each continent. I love the Christ-centered focus on the gospel and the way the book shows how Christians helped in the fight for abolition. The discussion about what Scripture says on these issues is very well done. It sparked great conversations in our family about standing up for justice, how we’re all made in the image of God, and how we’re to treat our neighbor and each other. The book also answers some tough questions about slavery. Overall, Why did Slavery End? is a fantastic read-aloud for our family and an excellent addition to our homeschool studies.