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Let Freedom Sing Hardcover – September 2, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Apple Books (September 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934706906
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934706909
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.5 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,548,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The lyrics of Harry Dixon Loes's gospel song This Little Light of Mine ring throughout this tribute to individuals who let their inner light shine during the civil rights movement. Newton's concise text touches on landmark incidents, underscoring the courage of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., the Little Rock Nine, the Greensboro Four and Ruby Bridges. After referring to Lyndon Johnson's contribution (he helped to change the law./ Civil rights for everyone), the narrative leaps rather jarringly to the present, as the president addresses the sprawling crowd at his inauguration: Speaking to all Americans,/ Barack Obama had a dream./ As President of the United States,/ He let his light shine. Illustrating the often-repeated refrain, Let it shine! are images of the segregated 1950s and '60s: black and white passengers boarding a bus through different doors, children drinking from separate water fountains. Newton's electric-hued digital compositions have a distinctly retro feel, incorporating postage marks, scraps of text and other layered elements. Potentially a conversation starter, the text's vagueness and lack of detail will necessitate outside resources. All ages. (Oct.)
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From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—Music played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. One of the songs, This Little Light of Mine, serves as a recurring focal point in this book. The well-designed book features large, colorful, deceptively simple images highlighting significant dates and events in the African-American struggle for equality. The illustrations are thought-provoking and sure to prompt questions such as, why, in one spread, the children on one page are black and entering a school, or drinking from a water fountain, while on the opposite page, all the children are white and walking toward another school, and drinking from a separate fountain? Text is kept to a minimum, with a few carefully chosen words to describe what is visually represented on each page. For example, one page of a spread reads, "February 1, 1960. The Greensboro Four"—followed by their names. The facing page reads, "Students at lunch counters—/They hoped to be served. As the Greensboro Four sat waiting,/they let their lights shine." While this is a good introduction to the topic, it sometimes presupposes prior knowledge of, or exposure to, African-American history. Pair this offering with This Little Light of Mine, illustrated by E.B. Lewis's (2005), and/or Ashley Bryan's Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals (2007, both S & S), both of which include verses and musical notes.—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH END

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Talalay on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kiwi Magazine Review:
I love this book! Taking the simple lyrics of `this little light of mine' and juxtaposing it with the people that shaped the civil rights movement makes for an understandable, age-appropriate treatment of a very important time in U.S. history. Since the book is targeted for 4-8 year olds, the message is clear that each one of us can make a difference. Just look at Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama. Let your light shine. The illustrations show the joy of the music flowing through the book's characters as the sing the song and change history.
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Format: Hardcover
Little children of all colors smile and join together in song, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." Children weren't always allowed to shine their lights together. Long ago when the bus drew up in front of the five and dime some children had to board and sit in the back while the others sat in the more desirable front seats. It wasn't because children wanted it that way, it was because of the way they were being raised. There were separate benches that people had to sit in. They were in the "Colored Section" and "black folks obeyed the rules." No one could let their little lights shine when things were that way.

There were people, in spite of the things going on around them, who did let their lights shine. One December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks let hers shine. When Dr. King "had a dream" when he spoke in Alabama on December 4, 1955 he had a dream. People who boycotted the buses and walked the routes in Montgomery, Alabama during this era let their lights shine. Civil rights were starting to shine through many individuals, but children still had to drink their water from separate fountains. The Little Rock Nine, The Greensboro Four, Ruby Bridges, people who marched on Washington, Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama all came together in their own ways so the little children could sing together . . . "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine."

This is a beautiful book to read to young children about the importance of those who let their light shine for civil rights. This book has a powerful message and I liked the way the theme of equality and civil rights for all was executed. It is in a picture book format, which may be over the heads of our youngest children, but is perfect for the intended age group.
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By Dawn Vontz on February 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the song "This Little Light of Mine" so I naturally love this book! It's perfect to teach young children about the Civil Rights Movement. And beautiful illustrations!!
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Format: Hardcover
I love this Book and the vivid illustrations of Vanessa Newton. I read this book to my children and explained to them about the Civil Rights movement that took place years ago, and what it was all about for people of color and what the song "This Little Light of mine" was all about for us as people. LET FREEDOM SING!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Let Freedom Sing" Vanessa Newton strikingly illustrates the events that embodied the need, and motion for change during the civil rights movement from the 1950's to today. In the generous-sized, hardcover format, she captures the spirit of the "times" on each page spread with lively characters and bold colors that will be very appealing to 4-8 year-olds. This a great introduction for children to learn of the main events of the civil rights movement as well as to learn that change doesn't necessarily need to come from the world around them but can come from within themselves.
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