Julius Lester Day of Tears

ISBN 13: 9781423104094

Day of Tears

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On March 2 and 3, 1859, the largest auction of slaves in American history took place in Savannah, Georgia. More than 400 slaves were sold. On the first day of the auction, the skies darkened and torrential rain began falling. The rain continued throughout the two days, stopping only when the auction had ended. The simultaneity of the rain storm with the auction led to these two days being called "the weeping time." Master storyteller Julius Lester has taken this footnote of history and created the crowning achievement of his literary career.

Julius Lester tells the story of several characters including Emma, a slave owned by Pierce Butler and caretaker of his two daughters, and Pierce, a man with a mounting gambling debt and household to protect. Emma wants to teach his daughters-one who opposes slavery and one who supports it-to have kind hearts. Meanwhile, in a desperate bid to survive, Pierce decides to cash in his "assets" and host the largest slave auction in American history. And on that day, the skies open up and weep endlessly on the proceedings below.

Using the multiple voices of enslaved Africans and their owners, Julius Lester has taken a little-known, all-true event in American history and transformed it into a heartbreaking and powerfully dramatic epic on slavery, and the struggle to affirm humanity in the midst of it.

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About the Author:

Julius Lester turned to writing after spending time as a photographer, musician, and political activist in the 1960s. His more than forty books for adults and children have garnered many awards, including ALA Notable citations and a Coretta Scott King Honor. To Be a Slave was a Newbery Honor Book, and John Henry received a Boston Globe-Horn Book award and a Caldecott Honor.

From AudioFile:

Transported to the largest slave auction in U.S. history, listeners feel the anguish of riven families, the greed of buyers and sellers. Lester's novel is a "paradigm for the thousands of slave auctions." Written like a play, the work has each reader, with well-honed accents, tell his or her role in the 1859 auction in which Pierce Butler sold his inheritance of 429 slaves, once considered family, in two days to cover gambling debts. A narrator grimly lists the sale records. Interludes offer reflections from years later by Butler, his daughters, and his abolitionist ex-wife, as well as several slaves who escaped via the Underground Railroad. Rain falls in torrents throughout the sale; a slave comments, "This ain't rain, this is God's tears." D.P.D. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786804900: Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue

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ISBN 10:  0786804904 ISBN 13:  9780786804900
Publisher: Jump At The Sun, 2005
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Book Description Disney Publishing Worldwide, United States, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. On March 2 and 3, 1859, the largest auction of slaves in American history took place in Savannah, Georgia. More than 400 slaves were sold. On the first day of the auction, the skies darkened and torrential rain began falling. The rain continued throughout the two days, stopping only when the auction had ended. The simultaneity of the rain storm with the auction led to these two days being called the weeping time. Master storyteller Julius Lester has taken this footnote of history and created the crowning achievement of his literary career. Julius Lester tells the story of several characters including Emma, a slave owned by Pierce Butler and caretaker of his two daughters, and Pierce, a man with a mounting gambling debt and household to protect. Emma wants to teach his daughters-one who opposes slavery and one who supports it-to have kind hearts. Meanwhile, in a desperate bid to survive, Pierce decides to cash in his assets and host the largest slave auction in American history. And on that day, the skies open up and weep endlessly on the proceedings below. Using the multiple voices of enslaved Africans and their owners, Julius Lester has taken a little-known, all-true event in American history and transformed it into a heartbreaking and powerfully dramatic epic on slavery, and the struggle to affirm humanity in the midst of it. Seller Inventory # ABZ9781423104094

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