Freedom Over MeBased on an 1828 document listing 11 slaves for sale, Ashley Bryan created portraits of each slave using paintings and free verse poetry--asking each slave to tell their own stories. Bryan creates full lives for each person, helping readers understand their hopes and dreams, as well as their pain and struggles.
Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams
brought to life by Ashley Bryan
Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum / Simon & Schuster, 2016
Newbery Honor Award
Coretta Scott King Author & Illustrator Honor Awards
Your local library
*best new book*
|Peggy: "I am the Fairchilds' cook. |
I work in the Big House
day in, day out"
"My knowledge makes meHerb Doctor is the title Peggy most prizes, for it is when she prepares these cures that she feels pride and accomplishment. Steaming herbs "stirs ancestral memories--my roots in Africa" as she makes cures for her slave family.
hunger for more.
Relieving the aches,
of the slaves
is my chief joy."
Historical fiction enables Bryan to bring his readers close to his subject, making it personal and compelling. He first drew portraits of each one, giving them an job on the estate, asking them to tell him their story. As he told Kirkus Reviews in an interview,
"After the 11 slaves told me their stories, I was deeply moved by their lives. Knowing that human beings all have dreams that we hope to realize, I thought of asking them what their dreams would be if they were living as free people. Their dreams are what brought each one to my heart and soul."Bryan's hope and optimism shines through in these stories. My students were able to think about the cruelties of slavery, but they were really impressed by the strength and courage of each person. They saw how important community, extended family, and personal history was to each person. Most importantly, my students understood the pride and accomplishment each person felt in their work and in their craft.
|Ashley Bryan reads aloud from Freedom Over Me|
- Ashley Bryan Center's website
- Black Children's Books and Authors spotlight on Ashley Bryan
- Ashley Bryan interview with School Library Journal
The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, Simon & Schuster. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.
©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books