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Bath - Dormann Library 1 E W Juvenile Fiction Book
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Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 E WEA Juvenile Fiction Book
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Cuba Circulating Library Association 1 E STORIES (STORIES FOR SHARING) W Juvenile Fiction Book
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Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 E W Juvenile Fiction Book
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Horseheads Free Library 1 E W Juvenile Fiction Book
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Van Etten Library 1 E W Juvenile Fiction Book
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Wellsville - David A. Howe Public Library 1 E W Juvenile Fiction Book
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On Order

Summary

Summary

2017 Caldecott Honor

2017 Coretta Scott King Honor

2017 Charlotte Zolotow Award 

A 2016 New York Times Best Illustrated Book 

This poetic, nonfiction story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human's capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans' Congo Square was truly freedom's heart.

Mondays, there were hogs to slop,

mules to train, and logs to chop.

Slavery was no ways fair.

Six more days to Congo Square.

As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves' duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. This book will have a forward from Freddi Williams Evans (freddievans.com), a historian and Congo Square expert, as well as a glossary of terms with pronunciations and definitions.

AWARDS:
2017 Caldecott Honor winner

2017 Coretta Scott King Honor winner for illustration

A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016: Nonfiction

Starred reviews from School Library Journal , Booklist , Kirkus Reviews , and The Horn Book Magazine


Author Notes

Carole Boston Weatherford is an award-winning nonfiction children's book author. Her books have received numerous accolades, including a Caldecott Honor for Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom and a Coretta Scott King Award Honor for Becoming Billie Holiday , as well as the NAACP's Image Award. She is currently a professor and Director of Professional Writing at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. You can find more about Carole at cbweatherford.com.

R. Gregory Christie is a three-time recipient of a Coretta Scott King Award Honor for illustration ( Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan ; Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth ; The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children ), a two-time winner of the New York Times ' 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of the Year (in 2000 for Only Passing Through and in 2002 for Stars in the Darkness ), an honor winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for illustration ( Jazz Baby ), and a recipient of the NAACP's Image Award. He operates GAS-ART GIFTS, a children's bookstore with autographed copies in Decatur, Georgia. You can find more about Greg online at gas-art.com.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Coretta Scott King Honorees Weatherford and Christie have created a gorgeously artistic and poetic homage to the birthplace of jazz and a people whose legacy is too often ignored. For one day a week, the slaves of New Orleans were allowed by law to gather on one public space: Congo Square. Through sparse, deliberate language, Weatherford tangibly captures the anticipation of those Sundays, listing the physical and emotional work that slaves endured without respite. They tend to animals and crops, cater to their masters, endure losses and lashings, all the while counting the hours until they can revel in the freedom of Congo Square. Holding on to that joyful experience feels like a form of silent resistance as the slaves bear the harshness of the week. The blunt words are richly supplemented by illustrations reminiscent of Jacob Lawrence's work. Christie elegantly renders people's gestures in chalk, capturing their energy or lack of, depending on the context. Blocks of color stamped with texture bring to life the landscape and movement in a place where they rejoiced as if they had no cares; / half day, half free in Congo Square. Subtle and layered, this is an important story, beautifully told.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Located in what is now the Treme neighborhood, Congo Square was the one place where the slaves and free blacks of New Orleans were allowed to gather on Sundays, a legally mandated day of rest. There they could reconnect with the dance and music of their West and Central African heritages and feel, at least for a few hours, that they were in "a world apart," where "freedom's heart" prevailed. Weatherford hits a few flat notes with her rhyming ("Slaves had off one afternoon,/ when the law allowed them to commune"), but she succeeds in evoking a world where prospect of Sunday becomes a way to withstand relentless toil and oppression: "Wednesday, there were beds to make/ silver to shine, and bread to bake./ The dreaded lash, too much to bear./ Four more days to Congo Square." Christie, who worked with Weatherford to illuminate another historic neighborhood in Sugar Hill (2014), takes readers on a visual journey, moving from searing naïf scenes of plantation life to exuberantly expressionistic and abstract images filled with joyous, soaring curvilinear figures. An introduction and afterword provide further historic detail. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-This vibrant picture book examines Congo Square in New Orleans. A foreword and author's note explain how, historically, slaves in Louisiana were allowed Sunday afternoons off. This custom continued after the territory joined the United States, although in time, New Orleans established one location for all slaves to gather: an area that became known as Congo Square. This unique practice helped enslaved and free Africans maintain cultural traditions. The impact was felt far beyond New Orleans as musicians, dancers, and singers developed, explored, and shared rhythms that eventually grew into jazz music. The text is realistic but child appropriate. Couplets count down the days to Sunday in a conversational tone ("Slavery was no ways fair./Six more days to Congo Square."). The writing is accompanied by folk art-style illustrations, with paint applied in thick layers. Some images, such as faces, are more detailed, while others are presented as silhouettes. Collage with painted elements is incorporated on occasion. The architecture portrayed evokes the New Orleans setting. Bright colors suggest the exuberance displayed at Congo Square. Spreads where the slaves are finally able to sing, dance, and express emotion contrast effectively with the forced restraint of those depicting the work week. VERDICT Unique in its subject and artistic expression, this beautiful book belongs in most collections.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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