Now Let Me Fly: The Story of a Slave Family

Now Let Me Fly: The Story of a Slave Family

by Dolores Johnson
     
 

A young girl describes how she once heard the sound of warning drums in Africa signaling the coming of horror. Kidnapped, made to march while chained, and taken to America to be sold at an auction, she undergoes the brutalities of slavery in this tale of a strong-willed girl who lives in harsh surroundings. Full color.See more details below

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Overview

A young girl describes how she once heard the sound of warning drums in Africa signaling the coming of horror. Kidnapped, made to march while chained, and taken to America to be sold at an auction, she undergoes the brutalities of slavery in this tale of a strong-willed girl who lives in harsh surroundings. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a starred review, PW called this story of an African girl who is sold into slavery "powerful [and] heartbreaking," adding that Johnson's illustrations "underscore the anguish and sadness of her story." Ages 5-10. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The poignancy of a family torn apart by slavery is found in this beautifully told and illustrated picture book. Minna, a slave born in Africa, describes her cruel capture and worst of all, seeing her family separated. There is little that comforts Minna but her hope and her memory of a little African bird that flies free.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This ambitious picture book tells the life of a woman who was captured as a child in Africa and became a slave on an American plantation. As an adult, Minna relates the grim threads that have woven the story of her life. Sickness, hunger, and backbreaking labor are ameliorated only by the love and support of a fellow slave who becomes her husband, and by her four children. Her happiness is short-lived, however, for first her husband and then her eldest son are sold to other plantations. Minna's second child, after being whipped for teaching herself to read, escapes to freedom. The third child attempts to go north to join his sister; he does not make it that far, but is taken in by a Seminole Indian family. Finally, Minna is left with only her youngest child, who remains working in the Big House. Johnson's personalization of the facts is an effective device for conveying an overview of the tragedy of human slavery, but by condensing so much into one family's life, the author is unable to maintain her characters' individuality, and they become icons instead. The handsome illustrations are formally posed and somewhat blurred, adding to the sensation that this one family stands for all slaves. Still, this book is a beginning for teaching a painful part of America's history.-Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Kay Weisman
Minna, a young African girl, is kidnapped, sold into slavery, and sent to America, where she is purchased by Master Clemmons, who puts her to work picking cotton. Although she grows up, marries, and bears four children, Minna's life is not an easy one. Her husband and oldest son are sold to other slave owners, and two other children "steal away"--one to safety in the North and the other to Florida to live with the Seminole Indians. Minna and her family are fictional characters, but their experiences are representative of many African Americans from the mid-1500s to the mid-1800s. Johnson's moving artwork offers many details of African and plantation life. While she has chosen not to depict the most brutal cruelties of slavery, the expressive faces of the characters vividly portray the harsh realities. Commissioned by the Children's Museum of San Diego, Johnson recounts the African American story with honesty and sensitivity. A compelling presentation that deserves space on library shelves.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780027476996
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
10/29/1993
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.33(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

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