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Heart and Soul: The Story of America and…
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Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

by Kadir Nelson

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This book should be required reading for all students, grades 6 and up. Kadir Nelson is unequivocally at the top of his game, bringing to life the vividness, the starkness, the rawness, the struggles, and the strengths of African Americans in American history. Told through the narrative drawl of a grandmother speaking to a "chile", Nelson weaves a deeply personal history into our shared history, making what is once singular and unique, pervasive and universal. His artwork is gorgeous, drawing out a richness and poignancy from well-known historical figures such as Harriet Tubman and Jackie Robinson as well as from the anonymous faces of slaves and sharecroppers with equal dignity and pride.

What absolutely astounds me is that the dull textbooks of American history are considered required reading and books such as this, a multiple Coretta Scout King Award winner, are left to gather dust on library shelves. This, quite frankly, isn't a book most students are going to pick up and read for pleasure. It is, however, a book they will likely devour and undoubtedly remember if and when an insightful teacher adds it to their curriculum.

Not to be missed. Highly recommended. ( )
  Mad.River.Librarian | Apr 23, 2014 |
Beautifully told and illustrated. ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
The book Heart and Soul: The story of America and African Americans is the story of hope, inspiration, courage, and segregation in the USA from the times of slavery up to the civil rights movement. I will recommend this book to kids ages 9 and up.
  Marinam77 | Dec 2, 2013 |
This book was phenomenal! He addressed the difficulty of including all of black America's history within 100 pages, by writing in the narrative of a family. I really liked the writing style told through the narrative of a grandmother figure, while telling parts of his family's own history, and that of all African-Americans. However with the condensing of so much history, I wish he would have explained terms a bit better. He talks about Jim Crow laws several times throughout, but never explains what a Jim Crow law is or where the name came from. I love that it read like a story and not like a history lesson and I love how he wrote of the black perspective in every major American time period. The illustrations were realistic, detailed, sad, and thought-provoking. I would use this book to have students branch off and take one part of history and research it. Great book.
  pyattlori | Nov 9, 2013 |
Can you recall the story of America AND the African Americans? Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson conveys a breathtaking and concise truth about America as we know it through the eyes of an African American nameless grandmother. This historical fiction book would be a great text to use in any classroom from fourth grade and up. It captures topics all the way from the colonial days up to Obama’s presidency through themes such as hardships, slavery, equality, acceptance, racism etc. Through the beautiful images and words portrayed, this book mesmerized me from page one until the very last word; this book is an inspiration to all. ( )
  Backus2 | Nov 7, 2013 |
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Book description
Story of how African Americans struggled throughout the entire history of the United States.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061730742, Hardcover)

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it’s about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it’s about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It’s a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination and triumphs.

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation’s most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an “Everywoman,” an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, heart and soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An simple introduction to African-American history, from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.

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