Alice McGill Way Up and Over Everything

ISBN 13: 9780618387960

Way Up and Over Everything

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9780618387960: Way Up and Over Everything
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My great-grandmama’s mama told her and she told me this story about a long time ago . . .

So begins this account of the author’s great-great-grandmother Jane, and how she meets a slave new to the plantation, a slave who would prove to have magical powers . . . created by the wish for freedom. Alice McGill remembers this story, passed down in her family through the generations, from her childhood and how her greatgrandmother told it to her “as if unveiling a great, wonderful secret. My siblings and I believed that certain Africans shared this gift of taking to the air—‘way up and over everything.’”

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About the Author:

Alice McGill is an award-winning author and professional storyteller. Among her books is the ALA Notable Molly Bannaky, winner of the 2000 IRA Picture Book Award and the 2000 Jane Addams Award. Alice McGill has toured to collect and tell stories in thirty-nine states, Canada, the West Indies, and South Africa. She lives with her husband in Columbia, Maryland.

From School Library Journal:

Starred Review. Grade 1–5—Like Virginia Hamilton's The People Could Fly (Knopf, 2004), this folktale tells the story of slaves who magically slip off the bonds of oppression by simply soaring "way up and over everything." As related by a slave named Jane's great-great granddaughter, it is the tale of five dignified and taciturn new slaves who are taken to a Georgia cotton plantation in 1842. The Africans are given "American" names, but one young man whispers to Jane, "Edet, Edet" as though introducing himself. After a day's brutal work, the newcomers disappear from the eating-time crowd. Dogs are brought out to trail them, and Jane creeps along behind. At the top of a hill, she sees the Africans holding hands, chanting, and whirling in a circle, then stepping into the air, while master and overseer try in vain to stop them. In a dramatic final scene, Edet turns and proudly shouts his African name before flying off "beyond the clouds." Though warned by her master never to share what she has witnessed, Jane, of course, does share. As explained in an afterword, this is a retelling of a "flying story" that has been passed down in the author's family for generations. Written in colloquial language, the tale is enhanced by a spare yet elegant design and delicate folk-art-like watercolor illustrations. Inspiring and informative.—Amy Rowland, Guggenheim Elementary School, Port Washington, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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