Archive | 7:04 am

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

17 Nov

Cover art and titles are meant to draw us in. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If I hadn’t heard about

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Africa is My Home: A Child of the Amistad by Monica Edinger, I don’t think I would have picked it up. Once you’ve read the book the title makes total sense, and is, in fact the perfect title. But it didn’t work for me at first.

Did you know there were kids on the Amistad? I didn’t and neither did Edinger. When she found out, she had to write about it. She tried to write it as a non-fiction book, but so much was unknown she opted for historical fiction.

The book is inspired by the true story of one of the children on the Amistad, Magulu who became known as Sarah Margru Kinson. What I found most fascinating was not the trial, but her life. She was enslaved at age 9 and taken to Cuba, then put aboard the Amistad. Once in America and awaiting resolution of their case (which took several years) Magalu/Sara was converted to Christianity, educated and trained to be a teacher and missionary in Africa. Her actual letters still exist and helped shape the narrative.

The beautiful  ink and watercolor illustrations, by Robert Byrd, are all done in colors, shades and tones that reflect the greens and blues of Africa, the colorful images of Cuba, the darkness of the Amistad, and pastels of dreams and poems, enhancing and extending the story being told.

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