NOW LET ME FLY by Dolores Johnson


The Story of a Slave Family
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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 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)

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1993
ISBN: 0-02-747699-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1993


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