Way Up and Over Everything

by Alice McGill and Jude Daly

“You see, my great-grandmama’s mama told her and she told me about this... read more

“You see, my great-grandmama’s mama told her and she told me about this story about a long time ago when Africans could fly just like birds—way up and over everything.” This variant of a tale in which slaves fly to freedom begins when a group of Africans, newly delivered from their capture, are brought to the plantation where a woman name Jane works and is witness to their miraculous escape. Too impatient for his new slaves to be trained, Ol’ Man Deboreaux barks to the overseer, “They work today.” But when the silent and frightened flock of Africans find themselves in the wide open field, something magical happens: Taking one another’s hands, they spin in a circle and send themselves soaring and disappearing into the sky. The story becomes legend as Jane passes it down to her children, who continue telling it down the generations. This powerful tale, rich with language and imagery, is complemented by distinctive folk-art watercolor illustrations. (Ages 6–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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