The Old African
illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
published in 2005

Details

Appropriate age:
Tween/Young Teen (age 12-14)
Reading level:
Grade 4
Genres: Fiction, Western
Cultures: Americas, United States, African American
Subjects: Slavery, History, Values

Description

No one on the plantation had ever heard the Old African's voice, yet he had spoken to all of them in their minds. For the Old African had the power to see the color of a person's soul and read his thoughts as if they were words on a page. Now it was time to act---time to lead his fellow slaves to the Water-That-Stretched-Forever, and from there back to Africa. Back to their home. Based on legend and infused with magical realism, this haunting tale is beautiful in both its language and its images. Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney have found a new, extraordinary way to express the horrors of slavery and the hope and strength that managed to overcome its grip.