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.
Resources: Companion Craft and Discussion Guide ( http://www.kellystarlinglyons.com/books/onemillion/documents/EllensBroomDiscussionActivityGuide.pdf ) Jumping the Broom Coloring Page ( http://www.kellystarlinglyons.com/books/onemillion/documents/jumping.pdf ) Parade Coloring Page ( http://www.kellystarlinglyons.com/books/onemillion/documents/parade.pdf ) Word Search ( http://www.kellystarlinglyons.com/books/onemillion/documents/EllensBroomwordsearch.pdf ) and more ( http://www.kellystarlinglyons.com/books/onemillion/EllensBroom.html )
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.