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Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad Hardcover – October 8, 2013

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Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad + Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures + The Year of Billy Miller
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763650382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763650384
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #407,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–The events surrounding the abduction, mutiny, and legal trials of the Amistad Africans have been retold in a number of books, but few are told from the point of view of the children on the ship. In this novel based on the experiences of a real person, nine-year-old Magulu sails for seven weeks to Cuba on a slave ship. After being sold, she boards the Amistad. A rebellion leads to fighting and eventual jail time and several trials. Now 12 years old, she and the other children are finally declared free and allowed to return home. How she earns her passage and an education are part of this remarkable story of resilience, faith, and hope. Byrd's ink and watercolor illustrations show lush green areas of West Africa; as Magulu travels, the colors darken until she is returned to Africa. Highly detailed illustrations contrast life and dress in Africa with those in Cuba and Connecticut. The maps and recurring dream scenes are lovely and intriguing. Interspersed throughout the book are primary-image sources. Edinger gives Magulu a voice of her own as she narrates her story. The child's character is fleshed out as readers watch her grow from age nine when she is pawned during a drought to adulthood when she becomes a teacher in her beloved homeland. With more than 40 stunning illustrations, this unique narrative should find an appreciative audience.–Glynis Jean Wray, Ocean County Library, Toms River, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This fictionalized version of a true account gives readers a look into a neglected piece of history: the story of the Amistad told from a child’s point of view. We are introduced to 9-year-old Magulu, who is sold into slavery and ends up a passenger on the slave ship Amistad. After a mutiny, Magulu finds herself in New England with three other child passengers, where their freedom is fought over all the way to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Magulu spends time going to school, learning English, and meeting supporters who fight for her right to return to Africa. Edinger fills her novel with facts, research, and rich historical details. The storybooklike narrative of a child torn between two worlds is captivating, and Byrd’s finely lined color illustrations add to the story, as do reproductions of historical documents. An author’s note gives readers additional information and the inspiration as to where Edinger found her source material. Grades 3-6. --Sarah Bean Thompson

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's no secret that nonfiction in children's literature is the buzzword of the day. Thanks to the rise of interest in the Core Curriculum State Standards, kids are currently being urged to read more and more nonfiction in all its many myriad forms. The results are mixed. On the one hand we're seeing more attention paid to some fine pieces of nonfiction that might otherwise have sunk below the radar. By the same token, some truly terrible nonfiction is getting forced down the gullets of our children by well meaning adults who don't know the difference between quality and schlock. Even more disturbing, publishers are starting to relabel works of fiction as "nonfiction" on the weakest of justifications. It takes guts for someone to start to write something as nonfiction, then stop, think about it, and proceed to change course entirely and label the work fiction after all. There's a backbone of integrity to Monica Edinger's Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad. Though it could easily have been labeled nonfiction, the author and publisher opted instead to give themselves a bit of leverage. 95% of what you'll read here is true. More to the point, it's fascinating. A little known story filled with original research that's a great read from start to finish.

Born in Mendeland, West Africa, Magulu lived amongst family and greenery until the famine struck. Starving, her father pawned his daughter in exchange for food in the hopes of repaying his debt after a year. Yet before the debt was paid, the greedy villager sells Magulu to slave traders that can offer more than her father. On a slave ship called The Amistad she befriends the other children as well as a captive named Cinque. Through Cinque they learn of a rebellion brewing to overthrow the slavers above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Levesque on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Africa is My Home: A Child of the Amistad by Monica Edinger, illustrated by Robert Byrd
Candlewick Press, 2013
Historical Fiction
60 pages
Recommended for grades 3-8

Absolutely lovely! The artwork is gentle yet strong, and the writing felt pitch perfect to me.
I look forward to reading this aloud to my students. The Amistad will be new knowledge for them, but the way this story is told will make it comprehensible for students with little to no background knowledge. I love the author's note in the back of the book telling readers how she was taken on the journey to write this book.
Seriously, this is one we need in our libraries!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret T. Greenman on September 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Marvelous book! My 10yo daughter and I both loved it! I'm not one to take time to write amazon reviews, but this one deserves the time! Stunning illustrations are perfectly tied to the story, which is lyrical and full of meaning. A new favorite in our house! Well done!
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