With grace and poetry, the dramatic courage of slaves in America comes out of the darkness and shines brilliantly in this narrative story. What was it like to risk your life to learn your letters? To hold a need for learning that gave you the strength and courge to venture forth in the night to a place in the dirt and the pine needles where sticks form the letters that solve the puzzle of words.
One slave girl was whipped for wanting to claim an education for herself. In the illustrations the faces hold such dignity, such courage and such determination. The power of light and dark evoke the fear and the hope of every human being bound by such injustice with each turn of the page.
Young Rosa holds the knowledge of the letters close in her heart but they wiggle and twist with excitement, anticipation and possibility. Will they be found out? Will they suffer the whip just for wanting to read?
In the author's note she shares her discovery of pit schools - deep holes dug in the ground and camoflaged with branches where slaves went to learn in the dark of night. Her research led to the creation of this book.
Ages 7-11 978-1423134954 40 pages
Recommended by: Barb