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Shackles Hardcover – January 1, 2009
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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After a trip to the Pirate Museum, Hunter, 11, watches his pesky little brothers dig for buried treasure in their backyard on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. When they dig up an armful of mud and metal, their neighbor Mr. Green explains to them that what they have found are shackles used on slaves to prevent their escape. The author is the poet laureate of South Carolina, and, based on a true story, this compelling picture book speaks in clear, lyrical prose, true to Hunter’s perspective, with beautiful oil paintings that show the white boys at play and then with their African American neighbor confronting the cruel history in their own backyard. An unforgettable double-page spread shows Mr. Green’s hands close-up holding the chains. A note fills in the history about the island as a holding place for the ancestors of one out of three African Americans, before they were sold or buried. Readers will want a bibliography to find out more. Grades 2-5. --Hazel Rochman
About the Author
Marjory Heath Wentworth is Poet Laureate of South Carolina and the author of Noticing Eden and Despite Gravity. She writes a bimonthly column on poetry for The Post and Courier of Charleston, and teaches poetry in an arts and healing program at the city s Roper Hospital. She lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband Peter and their three sons.
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