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Free at Last!: Stories and Songs of Emancipation [Hardcover]

By Doreen Rappaport (Author)
Our Price $ 16.99  
Retail Value $ 19.99  
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Item Number 149646  
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Discontinued - Out Of Print
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Item Specifications...

Pages   64
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.48" Width: 10.02" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   1.55 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2004
Publisher   Candlewick
Age  9-12
ISBN  0763614408  
EAN  9780763614409  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
From the authors of No More!, an historical journey from the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to the beginning of the Civil Rights period in 1854 provides stories of people who, through courageous and daring acts, succeeded in gaining true and complete freedom for black people in the south and beyond. 12,500 first printing.

Publishers Description
True stories and traditional songs shed light on a lesser known era in African-American history - the crucial decades between Emancipation and the start of the Civil Rights movement.

In the dark of night, a mother risks her life to search for her four children, stolen by her former master. A wife refuses to hand her husband over to an angry white-hooded mob, despite the wailing of her babies - and the foot stomping on her pregnant belly. A woman calmly takes her seat in a first-class coach and is ordered to leave: "I'm a lady. All ladies sit here," argues journalist Ida B. Wells before she is carried from the car, seat and all.

These are some of the vignettes presented in FREE AT LAST!, interwoven with spirituals, work songs, blues lyrics, poems, and a compelling narrative recounting the experience of black Americans in the South from the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 through the dawn of the Civil Rights era in 1954. Drawing from true accounts, Doreen Rappaport writes of hopes for equality dashed by new "legal" injustices, and of a climate of fear and uncertainty fueled by intimidation, lynchings, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. But she tells also of the courageous struggle to re-create family and community life, achieve economic independence, explore creative expression, and eventually mount a successful legal challenge against segregation. Masterfully matched by Shane W. Evans's bold, emotion-filled paintings, this is an invaluable resource for teachers, parents, librarians, students, and everyone else who values what it means to be truly free.
Doreen Rappaport is the author of numerous books for young readers, including the acclaimed NO MORE! SONGS AND STORIES OF SLAVE RESISTANCE - the first in what will be a trilogy of books illustrated by Shane W. Evans. Of FREE AT LAST! STORIES AND SONGS OF EMANCIPATION, she says, "This period in history was termed ‘The New Era' by black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who hoped that the end of the Civil War marked the beginning of equality for black Americans. But this hope for equality quickly vanished with a series of ‘legal' injustices, violence, and daily humiliations against black men, women, and children, marking this as one of the most shameful periods in American history. This book traces the courageous struggle of black Americans to re-create family life and economic independence in the face of overwhelming danger and uncertainty."

Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of several children's books, including NO MORE! STORIES AND SONGS OF SLAVE RESISTANCE by Doreen Rappaport. Of FREE AT LAST!, he says, "As in NO MORE!, I was faced with the challenge of making beautiful images out of images that are not always beautiful. There are dark moments in American history - our story - that need to be told, need to be known, and very importantly, need to be seen. It has been a welcome challenge and honor to tell these stories in pictures."

Harriet Postle shifts her weight from side to side in bed. It is hard finding a comfortable sleeping position when you are seven months pregnant. She reaches over to touch her

husband, when she hears a thundering noise outside.

"Postle, we know you're in there! You'd better come out!"

Harriet knows who is yelling — the Ku Klux Klan men wearing masks, tall pointed caps, and long white robes.

Her oldest son wakes and ducks under the mattress. The baby wakes and starts to fuss. Her husband darts out of bed, loosens three floorboards, and jumps into the hiding place they prepared months ago. She replaces the planks. She steps into her skirt to cover her nightshirt, but she is so flustered she gets entangled in the material.

"Postle! Open up this door! You can't hide from us!"

Harriet scoops up the baby and plops down in a chair over the hiding place. She puts her hands over the baby's ears, trying to block out the furious banging.

The door crashes in. Four men in dusty boots point pistols at the mattress, under which her son cowers.

"Leave my boy alone!" she shouts.

One man jerks her chair out from under her.

She falls to the floor, hugging her baby. The man stomps his foot on her huge stomach. "Where is your husband?"

"He's not here!"

He drops a rope shaped like a noose over her neck. "Tell me where he is." Her son is screaming and sobbing at the same time. The baby wails. The man presses harder on her stomach. "Where is he?"

She does not answer. She will not betray her husband.

It seems like a miracle but the men finally leave. Her husband comes out of hiding. She cradles her children in her arms, but she cannot stop their crying.

Buy Free at Last!: Stories and Songs of Emancipation by Doreen Rappaport from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780763614409 & 0763614408

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More About Doreen Rappaport

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Doreen Rappaport has written numerous award-winning books for children, including: "Freedom Ship "and "The School Is Not White ("both illustrated by Curtis James); Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book; and "John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon," also illustrated by Bryan Collier. She lives and writes in upstate New York.

Kadir Nelson is the illustrator of many books for children, including "Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom" by Carole Boston Weatherford, an NAACP Image Award winner, a Caldecott Honor Book, and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner; "Ellington Was Not a Street" by Ntozake Shange, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner; "Please, Baby, Please" and "Please, Puppy, Please"," "by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee; and Will Smith's "Just the Two of Us"," " also an NAACP Image Award winner. He is also the author/illustrator of "We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball."

Doreen Rappaport currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York.

Doreen Rappaport has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Big Words
  2. Candlewick Biographies

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent book of history  Nov 7, 2005
Beautifully written and depicted, this book outlines the history of African Americans in the United States from the Civil War to school desegregation in the 1950's. Twenty-four events are described and illustrated. The great thing about this book is it is written for children to read and understand in terms they will be familiar with. However, children will need a strong background in order to read this book independently or used as a discussion tool. The author conveniently incorporates songs, poetry, and stories of famous African Americans. This allows for greater understanding of the event being described and offers the chance to take different perspectives. It is important to note, Doreen Rappaport reports accurate information on the more serious occurrences that took place during emancipation. For example, the Klu Klux Klan and lynchings are mentioned and described in the book and are accompanied by illustrations. This book also describes the "white violence" towards the African Americans. It is critical the children are mature enough and have enough background knowledge to understand the seriousness of the information being discussed. I believe this book should be a staple in every classroom! The illustrations, stories, songs, and events give accurate historical information and are written simply so children understand and enjoy. Please do not hestiate to make this book part of your classroom library!
An educational picture book about difficult struggles   Aug 13, 2004
An award-winning team, author Doreen Rappaport and illustrator Shane W. Evans present Free At Last!: Stories And Songs Of Emancipation, a captivating picture book surveying the history of African-Americans since the Civil War. This is a serious account suitable for young readers in covering such elements of the African-American experience as fear, violence, institutionalized injustice, lynchings, as well as the courageous acts of others, including those who spoke out against segregation and dared to make a difference. Strong, bold color illustrations add an unforgettable contribution to Free At Last!, an educational picture book about difficult struggles and which carries the absolute highest recommendation for both school and community library collections.

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