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Now Let Me Fly Hardcover – October 29, 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-This ambitious picture book tells the life of a woman who was captured as a child in Africa and became a slave on an American plantation. As an adult, Minna relates the grim threads that have woven the story of her life. Sickness, hunger, and backbreaking labor are ameliorated only by the love and support of a fellow slave who becomes her husband, and by her four children. Her happiness is short-lived, however, for first her husband and then her eldest son are sold to other plantations. Minna's second child, after being whipped for teaching herself to read, escapes to freedom. The third child attempts to go north to join his sister; he does not make it that far, but is taken in by a Seminole Indian family. Finally, Minna is left with only her youngest child, who remains working in the Big House. Johnson's personalization of the facts is an effective device for conveying an overview of the tragedy of human slavery, but by condensing so much into one family's life, the author is unable to maintain her characters' individuality, and they become icons instead. The handsome illustrations are formally posed and somewhat blurred, adding to the sensation that this one family stands for all slaves. Still, this book is a beginning for teaching a painful part of America's history.
Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Minna narrates her kidnapping by slave traders as a child in Africa and the rough passage to America. Under the cruel conditions on board ship, she meets Amadi, with whom she is sold to a plantation owner. They marry and have four children before Amadi is sold; two ``steal away'' to freedom in the years before ratification of the 13th Amendment. Johnson neither spares grim details nor harps on them, achieving subtlety through careful phrasing (a reference to those who ``survived'' the ship's passage is a quiet reminder of those who did not). Her vivid paintings blend generalized impressionistic backgrounds with realistic foregrounds; faces seem to flicker with an array of universal emotions. Some facts are filtered through a modern sensibility (e.g., Minna says she was sold for ``less than one hundred dollars,'' implying that was a small amount), but nonetheless, a compelling, elegantly composed narrative. Excellent author's note. (Picture book. 5-9) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Hardcover: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (October 29, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0027476995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0027476996
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,024,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Flying into the land of compassion is a trip that everyone should take. It is an important journey. I purchased this book to add to my multicultural library of student books. The title is what caught my eye. I find that using historical events to teach life skills, i.e. compassion, honesty, hope, etc., adds to the importance of the lesson This book is beautifully illustrated. The simplistic yet detailed drawings are enough to tell the story alone, however the story is told though the eyes of a young girl from childhood to adulthood and the stuggles she encounters growing up as a slave. I believe that everyone can relate to this story. It will be a pleasure to use this in my classroom.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect for my 2nd grade classroom! A good interactive read aloud for this age group group. My little ones were entirely absorbed in the story and were able to glean so much from the author's way of story telling. She doesn't answer bet question and leaves plenty for the reader to infer and fill in. It will definitely be a staple in my read aloud collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter took this book, sat behind a chair, read this book, emerged from behind the chair with tears in her eyes. This opened the doors for a great conversation, for truth and knowledge, for wisdom and a connection to who she is. Empowering my daughters...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Helps kids learn about other kids. My daughter has this and several others in her classroom. She personally picked out several books for her classroom for Christmas
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