Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, January 18, 2021

The People Could Fly: Remembering Those Gone As We Continue To Move Forward

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. The will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

-Isaiah 4:21-31

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I offer two beautiful books written by Virginia Hamilton and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon:

The People Could Fly. 

William Kilpatrick (from Books That Build Character) writes, "Myths and folktales reflect man's attempt to understand both his greatness and his ability to inflict and to endure suffering". The 24 folktales in this book were mostly shaped by the "given" of slavery in America and are offered in a wide range of imaginative telling...the title story is a hauntingly beautiful tale of slaves on a plantation who recall the ancient African incantations that allow them to fly. There are also riddle stories and the comic tales of Brer Rabbit - which represent the slaves' need to find ways to maintain dignity while evading their masters' cruelty.

Many Thousand Gone. 

From Publisher's Weekly: "The inspired pairing of this Newbery winner and these two-time Caldecott recipients has yielded a heartfelt and ultimately heartening chronicle of African Americans from the earliest days of slavery to the 1865 ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery in this country. Made up of succinct yet compelling profiles of celebrated and lesser-known individuals, Hamilton's narrative deftly peels back time's layers and lends an unusual immediacy to this critical chapter in American history."

The stories are heroic and the illustrations are beautiful. Many Thousand Gone is a must-read in helping our children understand the horrors and honor the bravery shown by so many during the time of slavery in our country. It traces the history of slavery in America in the voices and stories of those who lived it. 

Both good reads for this day, as we remember a courageous man who wanted to change the world through his life example of non-violence, belief in equality for all, and civil rights activism.

You may also be interested in my past post about Ruby Bridges, here.

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