Day 5: Ray Anthony Shepard

Ray Anthony Shepard’s Now or Never-Fifty-Fourth Massachsetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery has earned two starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. His meticulously researched book is riveting and lands you squarely on the battlefield.

The Journey
I was born in Missouri, a state that benchmarked the path to Civil War, in a family whose grandparents and great-grandparents were enslaved. I grew up on the flat Nebraska prairie, the state from which Stephen Douglas notched another benchmark toward bloody disunion. I attended a junior high school named after the abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier and graduated from high school in a town reluctantly named after the slain president. It’s not surprising that after years of teaching American history and developing history textbooks at Houghton Mifflin I have launched an encore career writing stories about the lives of littleknown but extraordinary African Americans who tipped the scales toward justice…

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