MISS CRANDALL’S SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES & LITTLE MISSES OF COLOR by Elizabeth Alexander
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MISS CRANDALL’S SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES & LITTLE MISSES OF COLOR

Age Range: 10 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Two years after Suzanne Jurmain’s nonfiction chronicle, Forbidden Schoolhouse (2005), comes a glorious poetic celebration of the teacher and students at a Connecticut school that defied mid-19th-century convention to educate African-American girls. Divided into six sections, four sonnets in each, the voices of the 24 girls tell, one by one, the tale, from hope and excitement at the beginning of the enterprise to fear and defiance as forces both institutional and vigilante conspire to destroy Miss Crandall’s School. Nelson’s sonnets adhere to a strict form while Alexander’s explore the boundaries of the form; each distills the powerful emotions inspired by the story. For example, “Fire from the Gods”: “I didn’t know how much I didn’t know, / Like Brer Mosquito on Brer Elephant, / now I know my capacity for awe / is infinite. . . . ” Cooper’s soft pastel illustrations provide a muted counterpoint to the text, mixing depictions of school and students with images of the natural world in a lovely rhythm. A foreword provides a brief prose history of the school; a concluding authors’ note explains their collaborative process. (Poetry. 10+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59078-456-3
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2007




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