Freedom's School
Freedom's School
$15.29
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Annotation: Hungry for learning, Lizzie and her brother Paul attend a new school built for freed slaves.
Catalog Number: #5622720
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Ransome, James,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-423-16103-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-423-16103-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2013013756
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
When emancipation comes, Rosa and her younger brother, former African American slaves, walk to their new one-room school, the first they have ever known. Though white boys on the road throw rocks at them, the two children are warmly greeted by their teacher. She helps all of her students, who attend school when they can be spared from farm work, but one time she turns the children away because she fears for their safety. Another time, fire destroys the building. Still, the community pulls together and pitches in to build "Freedom's school." Told with economy and restraint, the story expresses the deep desire among the community's African American families for their children to be educated. Ransome's large-scale paintings are fluid watercolors with dramatic use of light and dark and a fine sense of composition. This handsome book makes an interesting follow-up to the writer and illustrator's other education-related picture books, including Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass (2012) and Light in the Darkness: A Story about How Slaves Learned in Secret (2013).
School Library Journal
Gr 25 With the passage of the 13th Amendment, announced on the title page in a Boston Globe headline, comes the opportunity for Lizzie and her younger brother, presumably residents of the rural South, to attend school for the first timea rough wooden structure where Mizz Howard introduces the children to their letters. But getting there means encountering hostile white people, and sometimes school is canceled due to impeding threats. When the building is deliberately set afire, it is the determination of their teacher and other African Americans in the community that allows them to rebuild and rekindle hope for a brighter future. The story is illustrated with Ransome's signature lush, watercolor paintings, all spreads in warm tones of brown, gold, and red contrasted with many shades of green and deep blue. In stark contrast are the endpapers, a white chalk upper- and lowercase alphabet against solid black, symbolic of the struggle between the races. VERDICT A stunning package that adds to the body of literature documenting the African American experience. Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/14)
School Library Journal (4/1/15)
Word Count: 1,564
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 171881 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q69578
Guided Reading Level: R
Fountas & Pinnell: R

When Lizzie's parents are granted their freedom from slavery, Mama says its time for Lizzie and her brother Paul to go to a real school--a new one, built just for them. Lizzie can't wait. The scraps of learning she has picked up here and there have just made her hungry for more.

The walk to school is long. Some days it's rainy, or windy, or freezing cold. Sometimes there are dangers lurking along the way, like angry white folks with rocks, or mysterious men on horseback. The schoolhouse is still unpainted, and its very plain, but Lizzie has never seen a prettier sight. Except for maybe the teacher, Mizz Howard, who has brown skin, just like her.

They've finally made it to Freedom's School. But will it be strong enough to stand forever?

Praise for Light in the Darkness
"In this tale, [Cline-Ransome] makes the point that learning was not just a dream of a few famous and accomplished men and women, but one that belonged to ordinary folk willing to risk their lives. Ransome's full-page watercolor paintings-in beautiful shades of blue for the night and yellow for the day-are a window, albeit somewhat gentle, into a slave's life for younger readers. A compelling story about those willing to risk "[a] lash for each letter." -Kirkus Reviews

"Told from the perspective of Rosa, a girl who makes the dangerous nighttime journey to the lessons with her mother, the story effectively conveys the urgent dedication of the characters to their surreptitious schooling and their belief in the power of literacy...Solid text and soft, skillful illustrations combine for a poignant tribute to the power of education and the human spirit."-School Library Journal


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