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This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons

I know this is late but please bear with me :/ been one of those weeks!


Title: Ellen’s Broom
Author: Kelly Starling Lyons
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Jan 5, 2011
Ages: 5-8 Grades: K and up
Theme/Topic: family, traditions, history, slavery, reconstruction era

Opening and Synopsis:
…..Sunday morning, Ellen sat on the front pew with her family. She wiggled on the wooden seat, trying to get comfortable. But she knew not to say a word. Her people no longer had to worship at the back of the master’s church or sneak to the woods for prayer meetings. Slavery days were over….

Ellen always knew the broom resting above the hearth was special. But after it’s announced in church that the marriages of former slaves will be registered, she hears more about why it matters so much. For her mama and papa, who could be sold away at a master's whim and whose union had no legal protection, jumping the broom was to a way show their commitment to being husband and wife. Now, as the whole family travels to the courthouse dressed in their best, Ellen carries the broom with them. With love, ingenuity and pride, she finds a way to celebrate her parents' right to be legally married and remember their past.


Why I like this book: This is a wonderful story about family and the meaning of freedom. Ellen’s Broom is told through the voice of Ellen, a young girl, as she witnesses her parents become legally husband and wife. She has always heard the story about the broom above her fireplace but when she realizes the importance as she watches married ex-slave couples get marriage certificates, including her mother and father, she decides it is only right that her parents jump the broom again to celebrate. But her father thinks the tradition is from the past and that it should stay there now that they are free. But Ellen reminds him how important the broom is and vows she will “jump the broom” when she grows up and gets married too. Kelly did an amazing job creating the lovable character Ellen, a character children can easily connect with. With Ellen, children and their parents are taken on a historical journey through a page in our history. The artwork in the book is very striking. The illustrator, Daniel Minter, used block-printing method for his illustrations. It is the first time I have seen such a technique and it is simply beautiful. 

11 comments:

Arlee Bird said...

If the cover is an indication of what's inside, this book looks wonderful.


Lee
Blogging from A to Z

Karen Strong said...

I'm so happy for Kelly's new book! Thanks for the review. :)

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I hope I can find this one in our library. The story sounds lovely and the illustrations very unique.

Beth Stilborn said...

This seems like a wonderful book! Thank you for sharing!

Renee LaTulippe said...

This seems like an important addition to kidlit, and I love all the activity and discussion guides. Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention. I subscribed! :)

Heather said...

I've heard great things about this one! Congrats to Kelly on its release and the wonderful response she's getting.

Patricia T. said...

Saba, great book review. I love Kelly Starling Lyons historical fiction books. I new this one was out, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. Thanks.

Coleen Patrick said...

This book sounds lovely--great pick and great review!

thiskidreviewsbooks.com said...

I would like to read this book soon! I remember in a book I read, the newly wed slaves would jump over a broom. Now I know why! Very cool!
Erik :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Sorry to be so late commenting! I love the look of this book. I haven't read it yet, but I think I read about it on your blog once before because it looks familiar. What a great addition to our list, especially with all those resources. Thanks, Saba!

Kelly said...

Thank you, Saba, for featuring Ellen's Broom! You're so kind to share the book with your readers. I appreciate your support.

And thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments. Your notes are making this celebration even more special.

Saba is giving away a copy of Ellen's Broom today. Check out today's post (January 12) on her blog to enter. Thanks again, Saba!


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