" I had not lived in the former pit village of Lynemouth since 1961 but the winding road north from Newcastle will always be the same nostalgic highway, each twist charged with vivid memories and powerful emotions ' So begins a story full of wonderful humour, emotional candour and hardy tales of tough times a quietly epic family saga set amid the pit villages of the North East . It stretches from the 1920s, before Sid's parents had even met, to the final closing of the mine and his mother's death in 1999. Sid paints a picture of a colourful, tight knit community full of good times and hard work, god-fearing women and hard-drinking men. Always dominating the skyline is Auld Betty, the pit head that took the men away each day and, with a prayer, brought them back each evening. Amongst the unforgettable cast of his extended family and friends, we follow the Waddells' attempts to stay afloat and provide a better future and possible escape for youngsters like Sid."
Young Gabe's is a story of heartache and jubilation. He's a child slave freed after the Civil War. He sets off to reunite himself with his mother who was sold before the war's end. "Come morning, the folks take to the road again, singing songs, telling stories, and dream-talking of the lives they're gonna live in freedom. And I follow, keeping my eyes open for my mama. Days pass into weeks, and one gray evening as Mr. Dark laid down his coat, I see a woman with a yellow scarf 'round her neck as bright as a star. I run up to grab her hand, saying, Mama?" Gabe's odyssey in search of his mother has an epic American quality, and Keith Shepherd's illustrationsinfluenced deeply by the narrative work of Thomas Hart Bentonfervently portray the struggle in Gabe's heroic quest.
Selected as a 2012 Skipping Stones Honor Book and for the 2012 IRA Teacher's Choices Reading List.
A. LaFaye hopes Walking Home to Rosie Lee will honor all those African American families who struggled to reunite at the end of the Civil War and will pay her respects to those who banded together through the long struggle for freedom. She is the author of the Scott O'Dell Award-winning novel Worth and lives in Tennessee with her daughter Adia.
Keith Shepherd is a painter, graphic designer, and educator working out of Kansas City, MO. His painting "Sunday Best" is part of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's permanent collection. He describes his work as being "motivated by family, religion, history, and music."
It's 1808 . . .
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