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Open the Door to Liberty! A Biography of Toussaint L’Ouverture

Written by Anne Rockwell

Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Houghton Mifflin (2009)

The island now known as Haiti was once a French colony called St. Domingue, where white plantation owners forced hundreds of thousands of African slaves to farm sugar cane. Toussaint L'Ouverture was one of those slaves . . . but not for long. The day would come when L'Ouverture would lead his island’s slaves into a revolution for freedom, and his efforts would influence the course of history.


  • Junior Library Guild Selection


“ In this eye-opening biography, Rockwell makes a strong case that Toussaint L’Ouverture is one of the most overlooked heroes of the eighteenth century . . . Evocative paintings in primary colors help tell the story (the rendition of Toussaint in prison is especially poignant), while biographies and source notes make up the excellent back matter. ”

— Booklist

“ Altogether, this is a beautiful and captivating portrait of a leader whose story will probably be unfamiliar to most youngsters. ”

— School Library Journal, starred review

“ Rockwell succeeds admirably in explaining a complicated life, and the American-primitive-style drawings are a good match. ”

— The New York Times

“ Christie’s stirring illustrations, including the cover painting of a triumphant L’Ouverture surrounded by his people, complement the dramatic tale. ”

— Kirkus