I have heard of a landWhere the imagination has no fencesWhere what is dreamed one nightIs accomplished the next day
In the late 1880s, signs went up all around America - land was free in the Oklahoma territory. And it was free to everyone: Whites, Blacks, men and women alike. All one needed to stake a claim was hope and courage, strength and perseverance. Thousands of pioneers, many of them African-Americans newly freed from slavery, headed west to carve out a new life in the Oklahoma soil.
Drawing upon her own family history, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Thomas has crafted an unforgettable anthem to these brave and determned people from America's past. Richly illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award honoree Floyd Cooper, I Have Heard of a Land is a glorious tribute to the Afrian-American pioneer spirit.
00-01 Sequoyah Children's Book Award Masterlist
About the Author
Joyce Carol Thomas is an internationally renowned author who received the National Book Award for her first novel, Marked By Fire, and a Coretta Scott King Honor for The Blacker the Berry and for her first picture book, Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea. Her picture book I Have Heard of a Land received a Coretta Scott King Honor and an IRA/CBC Teachers' Choice Award and was an ALA Notable Book. Her other titles include The Gospel Cinderella, Crowning Glory, Gingerbread Days, and A Gathering of Flowers. Ms. Thomas lives in Berkeley, California.
Floyd Cooper received a Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations in The Blacker the Berry and a Coretta Scott King Honor for Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea and I Have Heard of a Land. Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Cooper received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma and, after graduating, worked as an artist for a major greeting card company. In 1984, he came to New York City to pursue a career as an illustrator of books, and he now lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, with his wife and children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I Have Heard of a Land is the story of a young African American woman¿s dream of settling her own piece of land in the Oklahoma Territory. It tells of the hardships and the rewards of being free to work hard to gain ownership of land. Even though this is a story of an African-American woman, it could be about the many people who came to find economical independence and a new life where they had hope of a future.I really like this book because it has so many prospects. It can be view as a multicultural book because it deals with the African-Americans fight for independence after the Civil War, but it also deals with the idea of a woman standing on her own strength. It also has a historical prospective about the struggles of the American settlers as they tried to find a place to belong. The author¿s use of style and language to tell the story helps draw the reading into the main character¿s dream. The repetitive nature of the line, ¿I have heard of a land¿ demonstrates how the main character acts on faith, the faith of her dreams.This book would be good to use as an extension for a Social Studies unit on the land runs of Oklahoma. It would bring in the point of view of the homesteaders and the struggles they faced. After reading the story, place the book into the Writing center and then have students reread the story and then journal about what they think it would have been like to live in the main character¿s shoes.This book could serve as an introduction to a field trip to visit an actual homestead of a pioneer. It could help the students have background knowledge of what they were about to experience.
This poem book speaks of freedom and a fresh beginning for newly freed slaves escaping the south. In Oklahoma women could own land in their name. During the land rush, a person claimed land for free by running as far as they could reach. This land became a place of peace and unity for many Americans-- white, black, and Native.