I have got to get my hands on Walking home to Rosie Lee!
Young Gabe’s is a story of heartache and jubilation. He’s a child slave freed after the Civil War. He sets off to reunite himself with his mother who was sold before the war’s end. “Come morning, the folks take to the road again, singing songs, telling stories, and dream-talking of the lives they’re gonna live in freedom. And I follow, keeping my eyes open for my mama. Days pass into weeks, and one gray evening as Mr. Dark laid down his coat, I see a woman with a yellow scarf ’round her neck as bright as a star. I run up to grab her hand, saying, Mama?” Gabe’s odyssey in search of his mother has an epic American quality, and Keith Shepherd’s illustrations—influenced deeply by the narrative work of Thomas Hart Benton—fervently portray the struggle in Gabe’s heroic quest.
I can’t EVEN with this story. How does a child survive when his mother is sold to another plantation? We are so lucky that we haven’t had to experience that. Now even young readers will be able to understand the importance of freedom from slavery.
I hope he finds his mama, Rosie Lee…
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