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Sweet Land of Liberty Hardcover – March 1, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4–As Assistant Secretary of the Interior under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Oscar Chapman played a vital role in securing Marian Anderson's use of the Lincoln Memorial as a venue for her free concert in 1939. Hopkinson ties incidents from Chapman's childhood to his efforts on Anderson's behalf, establishing that he never shied away from controversy. His refusal to testify against two African-American friends unfairly accused of stealing demonstrates a long history of opposing injustice. This sets the stage for the adult Chapman's willingness to find the perfect location for Anderson's performance and his work for FDR's approval. He also ensured that every V.I.P. in Washington was personally invited to attend. Of course, the event was a blazing success and remains a touchstone of the Civil Rights Movement. Hopkinson's slant on Chapman's contributions provides food for thought. The mixed-media illustrations succeed best when the action shifts to Washington where Jenkins can rely on the historical record in composing his work. The earlier scenes are confusingly jumbled. An endnote lists some of the author's sources, but none of the quotes in the text are specifically cited. Still, the book could provoke meaningful discussion about character formation and civic responsibility.–Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Growing up poor and white in Virginia at the turn of the twentieth century, Oscar Chapman watched as his black friends became victims of racism. He grew up to become an important government official in Washington, D.C., and, with his friend Walter White, a light-skinned African American, he lobbied the powerful to challenge the racist Daughters of the American Revolution and allow Marian Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, where 75,000 people came to hear her, and where, 24 years later, Martin Luther King Jr. made his most famous speech. Jenkins' powerful, bright, mixed-media collages show and tell the connections, past, present, and future, as the politician remembers his childhood experiences and his works for civil rights. A final spread celebrates King, Anderson, and a circle of children together. A long author's note fills in the political history, including the role of Eleanor Roosevelt. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561453951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561453955
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 11.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Deborah Hopkinson is as award-winning of picture books, fiction, and nonfiction for young readers. In 2013 she received a Robert F. Sibert Honor and YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award honor for Titanic: Voices from the Disaster.

She has won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text twice, for A Band of Angels and Apples to Oregon. Sky Boys, How They Built the Empire State Building, was a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor awardee. She lives near Portland, Oregon.

The Great Trouble, A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel won the OCTE Oregon Spirit Award and was named a Best Book of 2013 by School Library Journal and an Oregon Book Award finalist.

Deborah's forthcoming books in 2015-16 include: nonfiction about WWII entitled Courage & Defiance; Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, illustrated by Charlotte Voake; a middle grade novel called A Bandit's Tale, The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket; a picture book about sea turtles called Follow the Moon Home (with Philippe Cousteau), and a historical fiction picture book entitled Steamboat School, illustrated by Ron Husband.

Visit her on the web at www.deborahhopkinson.com and follow her on Twitter at @deborahopkinson.

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Format: Hardcover
Sweet Land of Liberty is the story of a groundbreaking 1939 Easter Sunday concert, when Marian Anderson performed before the Lincoln Memorial to over 75,000 people - and the story of the man responsible for the concert, Oscar Chapman, Assistant Secretary of the Interior under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Oscar Chapman witnessed racial injustice during his childhood, and resisted such un-American discrimination throughout his life. "A concert at the Lincoln Memorial would be free and open to everyone. It would show that Americans could come together for justice." The text of Sweet Land of Liberty is sufficiently involved to be a good choice for young people who are almost ready to make the transition to chapter books. Vividly illustrated with full color, mural-style artwork, Sweet Land of Liberty is a true story of patriotism and love for the qualities that make America a land of opportunity.
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