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Never Forgotten by Patricia McKissack
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Never Forgotten

by Patricia McKissack

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Title: Never Forgotten

Author: Patricia C. McKissack

Illustrator: Leo & Diane Dillon

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade

Publication Date: October 11, 2011

Genre: Folklore

Plot Summary:
Dinga, the blacksmith, and his wife have a son, but during labor the wife dies. People do not think Dinga can raise his son on his own, but he is not alone. He has the mother elements to help him. Each mother element blesses his son and they decide on the name Musafa. As Musafa grows he has a great relationship with all of the mother elements, especially wind. He becomes his father’s apprentice and creates beautiful, useless at the time, things. Dinga knows there is war going on between his home and white men, but he is not as cautious as he should be. He sends his son out to gather wood and his son never returns. He learns that his son has been taken captive, but that Musafa is strong and, unlike most of the slaves, refuses to die. After years of waiting for more news Dinga finds out that his son is a blacksmith apprentice in Charleston, SC, and that Musafa remembers his past. Dinga finds happiness in this news. He announces to all that his son is safe and happy, but no one truly believes him. The people think he has gone mad in losing his son, but refuse to take away his happiness.

Character Analysis:
Dinga:
• Blacksmith
• Loving father
• Can communicate with the Mother elements
Musafa:
• Son of Dinga
• blacksmith apprentice
• creates beautiful things
• Strong and stubborn
Mother elements: Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind
• All love Musafa and would do whatever possible to protect him

Critique:
Genre: Folklore

Personal Evaluation:
This book gave a very different view on slavery. It didn’t just give you facts, but told a personal story. This made me connect to the victims and families of people that were enslaved. The illustrations gave it a real feeling of authentication. It felt like I was sitting around a campfire, being told old stories about the past, kind of how they do in cartoons. They will have very primitive drawings when it is a recall of something that happened long long ago. ( )
  alf275 | Apr 12, 2015 |
This story is one about slavery. It is written in prose as a series of poems all telling a story. The first is one of Africans telling each other to remember how they were treated, how families lost each other, and then it tells such a story. A father has a son and his wife dies in childbirth. He decides to raise the son, Mufasa, on his own along with the help of the four elements, Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. The father is a blacksmith and teaches his son the skill as he grows. One day the son is captured while out gathering wood and, though all the elements try to rescue him, in the end he is sold to a plantation in the Carolinas. The father grieves for three years until finally Wind brings back the news that Mufasa is an apprentice to a blacksmith, hopefully to be freed one day soon, and is happy as he works using the skill his father taught him. The book closes with a poem telling how this was just one story of millions--so many lost their children. In the end, "Remember the wisdom of Mother Dongi: 'Kings may come and go, but the family endures forever.' Think on that when the silence comes." 4th-5th. ( )
  sbutler9 | Sep 11, 2014 |
A wonderful, NEW story, aching with grief, leavened with a glimpse of a masterfully reinvented life at the end. Writing that actually reads as poetry instead of prose sentences artfully chopped up into teeny bits.

Nobody does line like the Dillons. ( )
  MelissaZD | Dec 31, 2013 |
A wonderful, NEW story, aching with grief, leavened with a glimpse of a masterfully reinvented life at the end. Writing that actually reads as poetry instead of prose sentences artfully chopped up into teeny bits.

Nobody does line like the Dillons. ( )
  MelissaZD | Dec 31, 2013 |
A stunning, profoundly moving collaboration between a superb writer and two amazingly gifted artists. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375843841, Hardcover)

A Look Inside Never Forgotten
Click on the photos below to download printable PDFs.

A Father's Journey Begins Musafa Musafa Becomes an Apprentice Recognition

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In eighteenth-century West Africa, a boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements--Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth--is captured and taken to America as a slave.

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