Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life

Fierce paintings and expansive poetry provide a unique glimpse into the lives of slaves.

By Ashley Bryan Illustrated by Ashley Bryan Read by J.D. Jackson , Robin Eller , Ron Butler , Bahni Turpin and Susie Berneis African American / History - African / History - United States / Juvenile Nonfiction English 44m Sell Sheet
Format Release Date List Price Your Price ISBN
1 Video DVD Tue Aug 22 00:00:00 UTC 2017 38.99 38.99 9781520079714 Add to Cart
Description
									Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than a chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as a lantern. You're an object-an object to be sold. 

Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that listed the worth of each and every one of his "workers," Ashley Bryan uses original documents from slave auctions and plantation estates to create moving and powerful poetry and illustrations that contrast the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of a person's life experiences and dreams-things that a slave owner could never take away.
							
Reviews

"Bryan gives voices to the voiceless and presents the dreams of slaves who went to the grave without living them. Using historical slave documents from the 1820s to the 1860s, Bryan brings to life 11 slaves who once belonged to Cado Fairchilds...Bryan makes real and palpable what chattel slavery meant and how it affected those who were enslaved; every child who studies American slavery would benefit from experiencing this historically grounded web of narratives." - Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Using a document from 1828 that lists the value of a U.S. landowner's 11 slaves, Bryan (Sail Away) creates distinct personalities and voices for each, painting their portraits and imagining their dreams...Bryan shows that the enslaved had secret lives of their own...echoing the sense of sacred memory. There are few first-person accounts of slaves, and these imagined words will strike a chord with even the youngest readers." - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"...exceptional...presents the imagined faces and voices of individuals whose society, against all reason, regarded them as less than human...Their humanity shines through, showing the tragedy of their status and the gross absurdity of assigning prices to people. Longing for freedom is a constant theme, made all the more poignant by the appraisal document's date: 1828, decades before emancipation. Clean and spare, the verse brings the characters to life, while in the radiant artwork, their spirits soar. Rooted in history, this powerful, imaginative [work] honors those who endured slavery in America." - Booklist, Starred Review

"Bryan lovingly restores their humanity and dignity, giving them ages, true African names, relationships, talents, hopes, and dreams...Facsimiles of the historical document serve as background for each slave's introduction page, portraits of their faces taking precedence as they gaze out at the reader. The portraits are etched in a manner similar to wood carvings, suggesting the mask each slave wears for day-to-day life on the plantation. In contrast to the dry, parchment-like tones of the introductions, the dream spreads are in gloriously brilliant colors, as bold as the aspirations of the individuals themselves." - Horn Book Magazine, Starred Review

"Expertly crafted, these entries will deeply resonate with readers...A significant contribution to U.S. and African American history that will elicit compassion and understanding while instilling tremendous pride. A must-purchase for all collections." - School Library Journal

"...this is a story that links enslaved people to their African past and their accomplished workmanship, and it’s a high-impact treatment in a compact and accessible format that may inspire creative works in response as well as reflective discussion." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books