It is already mid-February! We’ve been busy here with overlapping visits from our daughter and our Grandson — the first time both have been with us since the holidays (they’ve both been staying away because of concerns about Omicron and Byron’s compromised immune system). It was delightful to have them here, absolutely therapeutic!
Although I haven’t been posting as often, I was still able to finish a few books, even though my usual reading times were taken up by long conversations with our daughter and fun computer demonstrations by our grandson (after he finished his online school for the day).
Although I actually read this book in January, I wanted to review it for Black History Month. The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith, is a powerful reading experience for young and old. My review on Goodreads stated, “WOW!” I think that’s the most accurate description! It is an incredible little book, and in this new era of book banning and curriculum warping, I think this book should be required reading for all. It is beautifully written and illustrated, and is a profounding moving account, in verse, of the beginnings of slavery, the slavery experience, and the beginnings of black families, in the United States.
From the publisher:
The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renee Watson.
A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.
But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived.
And the people planted dreams and hope,
willed themselves to keep
And the people learned new words
With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.
You can read two sample pages below. (They will enlarge if you click on them.) This is a book that I continue to think about. I borrowed it from the library, but have since bought it for my bookshelf because it is a book that I need to revisit many times.