This month I would like to recommend two great African American books to read with your children. After you read the books have your young reader draw a picture about the stories or write how they felt about each of the books. Send it in to the Journal Attention: Miss Jennie and who knows they just may read/see their work it in an upcoming edition of the Youth Journal Page.
Miss Jennie B.
The first book is entitled Henry’s Freedom Box: A True from the Underground Rail Road. This is a hardcover book written by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. This book is a stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.
Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom.
The second recommended book is Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. This is a paperback book written by Deborah Hopkinson paintings by James Ransome. As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation–and even of running away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad. In a ﬂash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land..a Freedom Quilt that no master will ever suspect