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In the Land of Milk and Honey Hardcover – September 18, 2012

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Amistad (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060253835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060253837
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,440,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-In lyric, poetic language, Thomas describes the journey her family took from Oklahoma to their new home in California in 1948. Her story captures the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the experience. Reading her words aloud will transport listeners along with Thomas on the train trip: "We ride into late afternoon/past a snake whose body is a pen/writing calligraphy/on the paper-dry earth." Oil wash paintings depict the love the family shares and the young girl's excitement, as well as the bountiful fruits and vegetables growing in the sunny environment. The time period is reflected in the clothes, train, and cars. The author's note explains that her mother's illness was the impetus for the move, but the story itself does not explore that aspect. Instead, California is depicted as a paradise of racial diversity and economic prosperity. Nostalgic and sweet, Thomas's word images truly present a "land of milk and honey."-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

From her viewpoint as a child, Thomas remembers her family’s migration from Oklahoma to California in 1948. Clear free verse captures the excitement of the journey—the steaming train, the hissing wheels, the long lonesome whistle—while Cooper’s beautiful unframed pastel artwork in sepia tones shows a puffing steam engine pulling a train and the young girl watching the passing landscape, including “a cactus raising / hairy arms to catch the / last light from the falling sun,” while her brothers play marbles in the crowded aisle. From the title on, everything about this story is upbeat: even the sweating migrant workers in their red bandannas “unbend their backs / to wave back.” Finally, the train reaches San Francisco, where huge ships sit anchored “like iron mountains.” In a long afterword, Thomas celebrates the Golden State, which is still her home. The personal words and pictures do a great job of celebrating diversity: “all ages, all races . . . harmony in ever-changing rhythms.” Preschool-Grade 3. --Hazel Rochman

More About the Author

Award-winning author of more than 30 books and several plays, including the acclaimed musical "Abyssinia", internationally-renowned and best-selling African-American writer Joyce Carol Thomas was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma and now resides in Berkeley, California. A professor and teacher for over twenty years at some of the nation's most prestigious colleges, including the University of Tennessee and Purdue University, she received her Master of Arts degree from Stanford University. Joyce is a highly sought-after motivational speaker who delivers empowering speaking presentations that engage the heart, mind, and soul. In addition to speaking at colleges and universities in the United States, she has presented lectures, seminars, and workshops on creative writing and cultural studies in Nigeria, Haiti, Ecuador, Australia, Samoa, and the Mariana Islands.

Fraternities, students, administrators, alumni, and advisors schedule appearances by this eloquent and articulate Black woman when they want to ignite their campus student body and community groups about the joys of learning. How do you honor and respect your heritage while acknowledging people of all races, cultures, and backgrounds? Want proven ways to garner your best grades? Need help choosing your campus friends wisely? Ask Joyce! She fills all of her engagements with a uniquely warm, personal, and insightful sense of learning, laughter, and love.

Joyce's numerous honors and awards include the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year Award, Outstanding Woman of the 20th Century Award, three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, the Center for Poets and Writers' Poet Laureate Award, Kirkus Reviews Editors' Choice, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, Book of the Month Club Selection, and many more.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on January 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is based on a true story. The authors family moves from Oklahoma to California in 1948. The book chronicles the journey that they take by train. The move seems to be a new beginning for the young girl and her family. This would be a good choice to read in a classroom during Black History Month.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Madigan McGillicuddy on July 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Here's a slice of black history, featuring the author's semi-autobiographical story of her family's move from Oklahoma to the Bay Area, California in the 1940's. Plenty of lyrical repeating phrases emphasize the beauty of California and the high hopes transplants had of living a better life there amidst a more diverse and welcoming populace. Soft, warm illustrations fill the pages with a light glow.
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