Bread for Words: A Frederick Douglass Story & Black History Flashcards


6 years and up

  • Historical Figures
  • Enslavement
  • Activism
  • Trailblazers
  • Literacy

Shana Keller & Kayla Stark

Cards provided by ABC Me Flashcards created by Leilani Brooks & Stevi Meredith


I feel pretty confident that everyone recognizes the name Frederick Douglass, but how much do we know about his early life? Today I chose to share a wonderful book about Douglass and pair them with a set of Black history flashcards that can reinforce the knowledge and historical context in both the story and Black history itself.

Bread for Words is told in first person, which I think is a lovely narrative choice. The story itself focuses on Frederick’s early life and how he learned to read secretly, trading bread for letters and words while enslaved and running errands. The story writes Frederick as in charge of his fate, and his intelligence and resourcefulness shines through above all else. He was born enslaved, but was keenly aware that illiteracy was a huge piece of how the racial domination was enacted. This is a wonderful book that takes a historical figure and teaches about the importance of his self-directed education to a young audience.

The ABC Me flashcards were developed by two Black women educators to develop a resource for others teaching African American history. The alphabet cards have easy to understand information about historical figures, aspects of Black culture and Civil Rights. Overall, I think these are great as an introductory and fun way to spark an interest in history. The text is large and easy to read, I don’t think it would be intimidating to early readers. The cards are also about twice the size of a standard deck of cards, making it easy for smaller hands to hold onto.

This book was kindly sent by Sleeping Bear Press as a submission for the #bookstagang_bestof2020 list, but as always, opinions are my own! The flashcards were provided by ABC Me Flashcards.

Shana Keller

From Shana’s website: “The day I got my library card was far more exciting than the day I got my driver’s license. Okay, maybe not. But, it was just as liberating! In addition to reading (or writing) about amazing people, and learning as much as I can about history, I will always take time off to watch a good football game. 

I have traveled and moved too many times to count all over the country and some parts of Europe. Despite all the moves, traveling is still one of my favorite things to do.”

Kayla Stark

Kayla Stark is an illustrator who spends most of her time working on children’s picture books and young adult novels. In her free time, she can be found traveling as much as possible and dreaming up stories to share. She currently calls Nashville, Tennessee, home, and lives in a small, cozy house with her husband and two cats. 

Leave a Reply