I had ancestors who were abolitionists and chose to read this book due to that fact. I suggest everyone read it. One cannot understand what this horrible experience was like unless it happened to you... Their experiences from a first hand account tell what it was truly like to be forced to live out their lives in this manner. Julius Lester's comments add so much insight as well as the accounts of those whose words speak of this terrible time in history. It is a reminder as well that slavery still occurs in the world and we still need to work toward the abolition of this terrible blight on humankind. I recommend that we tell our children and use books at their level as well. It is extremely sobering.