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WAY UP AND OVER EVERYTHING by Alice McGill

WAY UP AND OVER EVERYTHING

By Alice McGill (Author) , Jude Daly (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-38796-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

The small, enigmatic figures in Daly’s folk-style landscape paintings add to the air of mystery infusing this spare rendition of “The People Could Fly,” retold here in a version handed down from storyteller McGill’s slave-born ancestor. The five serene new arrivals at Ol’ Man Deboreaux’s plantation, just off the boat from Africa, barely speak a word, keep to themselves—and, when the first evening’s meal is over, vanish. Young Jane trails the furious slave-owner and his dogs out into the fields, where she sees all five rise into the air “like [they were] climbing a ladder.” The last, “the one who had smiled at my great-grandmama’s mama, Jane…kept treading air with arms like wings. His feet moved like tail feathers and he sailed beyond the clouds, way up and over everything.” Despite Deboreaux’s threats to sell her down the river if she doesn’t keep silent, she returns to tell the story, both before and after she escapes to freedom with her children. It’s a tale that will have a profound effect. (author’s note) (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)