Christmas in the Big House: Christmas in the Quarters

Christmas in the Big House: Christmas in the Quarters


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Rich in historical detail and filled with luminous illustrations, this poignant book movingly describes the holiday celebrations of both slaves and slave owners on a pre-Civil War plantation.

The year is 1859, and it's Christmastime on a Virginia Plantation. The slaves are cleaning and setting up the Big House--where their masters live--for the festivities. The Big House is filled with warmth, colorful decorations, and yummy food...but there is talk of war and a sense that times may be changing. In the quarters--where the slaves live--conditions are poor, dirty, and cold, but the slaves are filled with hope for better times ahead, and they sing songs of freedom.
Moving deftly between two worlds, this beautifully illustrated book is a historical tale as well as a holiday treat.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780590430289
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 8.52(w) x 11.12(h) x 0.21(d)
Age Range: 8 - 11 Years

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Christmas in the Big House: Christmas in the Quarters 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
megjwal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters by Patricia C. McKissackIt¿s Christmas time on the Virginia Plantation in 1859. The slaves are told to clean the house and decorate it for Christmas. The house is filled with beautiful Christmas colors and smells. However, there is talk of a war beginning and a sense times might be changing. The shacks where the slaves live are dirty and cold, but they are hopeful for freedom to be coming soon. They sing songs of the freedom when they will get to work where they want and go where they want. I like this story because it shows what slaves went through and how badly they were treated. It is a good reminder why people fought the civil war.I would use this with second and third grade students at Christmas time. I would also talk about slavery and who was slaves and what they were told to do in this time period. I will also talk about the civil war and why we abolished slavery in the United States. I would ask students to write down reasons why they think slavery is a bad thing.
kthomp25 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's 1859, right before the Civil War, at a Virginia plantation at Christmas time. This book chronicles the way both the plantation owners and their slaves prepared for and celebrated Christmas on a time line starting 2 months before through New Year's Day, alternating illustrated scenes between the Big House and the Quarters. Gives an accurate depiction of the dress, food, songs, customs and a picture of the times; talk about slave insurrections, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, secession, and possible war. The Slaves have songs, stories, and customs that covertly point to their hopes for freedom. Not so much a story about individuals as a people. Moving illustrations. The illustrator won an award for a series of paintings depicting the history of the Black West.Contains useful epilogue, Extensive notes, and a bibliography
Guest More than 1 year ago
For anyone who loves history like I do, this is a must read, beautifully illustrated book with many interesting and little known facts. This is a book to discuss with your kids to whet their appetite on how people did things in the Good Ole Days!!! It is a book that needs to be packed away with the Christmas decorations and brought out each year.