Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

Cover image for Freedom over me : eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to lifeHere is one of this year's Newbery Honor books.  Bryan was inspired to write the book when she found a list of items to be auctioned at an 1828 estate sale that included eleven slaves.  Bryan writes two poems for each slave, one that shows how the slave appears on the outside, and one about the slave's inner hopes and dreams.  The 20 poems are well done, and show the slaves as people, and not just victims. The poems are illustrated with bright watercolor and ink drawings, superimposed on reproductions of historical documents related to the slave trade. I don't know if I would have chosen this for a Newbery honor, but I am totally okay with the idea that the award will motivate more people to read this handsome and thoughtful book. (32 p.)

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