Now Let Me Fly: The Story of a Slave Family

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.

A fictionalized account of the life of Minna, kidnapped as a girl in Africa, as she endures the harsh life of a slave on a Southern plantation in the ...

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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.

A fictionalized account of the life of Minna, kidnapped as a girl in Africa, as she endures the harsh life of a slave on a Southern plantation in the 1800s and tries to help her family survive.

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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
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689809668
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.12 (d)

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