Phillis Sings Out Freedom

The Story of George Washington and Phillis Wheatley

In the fall of 1775, General George Washington was struggling to find a way to fight the British so that the colonies could be free from England. Phillis Wheatley, an African American poet who herself had struggled to gain freedom, decided to write Washington a poem of encouragement. Ann Malaspina’s inspiring story shows the life and times of these two brave people who did so much to lay the foundation of our country.

  • 9780807593080
  • March 2015

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  • Keeter’s rich oil paintings are full of period details that help to clarify both the war scenes and Wheatley’s life…the story should help young readers to see the bigger picture of both the war and colonial life.

    - Booklist

  • The fact that the colonists were at once fighting for their freedom from England and depriving Africans of theirs is one of the great hypocrisies of American history. The text addresses it, but the emphasis is placed on Washington’s and Wheatley’s twin triumphs, he in liberating Boston and she in publishing her poems…Keeter’s illustrations depict the depth of character of the individuals and the hardships and challenges of their environments.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Including both individuals places Wheatley into chronological context and broadens the appeal of this picture book. Oil paintings help readers gain a sense of the period.

    - School Library Journal

  • Words can be powerful allies during war, suggests this warm tribute to African-American poet Wheatley.

    - Publishers Weekly


Susan Keeter

Phillis Sings Out Freedom

Common Core

RL.3.1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10 RI.4.1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 4.80