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Brick by Brick
by Jr. Charles R. Smith and Floyd Cooper


Overview -

The compelling true story behind the building of the White House, a powerful part of history rarely taught. From Coretta Scott King Award winners Charles R. Smith Jr. and Floyd Cooper.

The home of the United States president was built by many hands, including those of slaves, who undertook this amazing achievement long before there were machines to do those same jobs.  Read more...


 
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More About Brick by Brick by Jr. Charles R. Smith; Floyd Cooper
 
 
 
Overview

The compelling true story behind the building of the White House, a powerful part of history rarely taught. From Coretta Scott King Award winners Charles R. Smith Jr. and Floyd Cooper.

The home of the United States president was built by many hands, including those of slaves, who undertook this amazing achievement long before there were machines to do those same jobs.

Stirring and emotional, Floyd Cooper's stunning illustrations bring to life the faces of those who endured hard, brutal work when the profit of their labor was paid to the master, not the slave. The fact that many were able to purchase their freedom after earning money from learning a trade speaks to the strength of those individuals. They created this iconic emblem of America, brick by brick.

Includes an insightful author's note and a list of selected resources.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061920820
  • ISBN-10: 0061920827
  • Publisher: Amistad Press
  • Publish Date: December 2012
  • Page Count: 32
  • Reading Level: Ages 4-8
  • Dimensions: 11.16 x 9.41 x 0.33 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.93 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > History - United States/General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-11-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

Two Coretta Scott King Award winners pool their substantial talents in a somber tribute to the slave laborers who helped build the White House. Smith (Stars in the Shadows) emphasizes the toll that the work takes on the slaves’ hands and bodies (“Slave hands swing axes/ twelve hours a day,/ but slave owners take/ slave hands’ pay”) and takes the time to give names to these “Nameless, faceless/ daughters and sons,” forgotten by history. In gauzy scenes dominated by a sepia palette, Cooper (These Hands) spotlights the laborers’ hands, but their faces—which project resilience, exhaustion, and even anger—have much to say, too. There’s a slight upswing in tone as Smith notes that the skills the slaves acquired opened new possibilities (“Skilled hands earn/ one shilling per day,/ reaching slave hands closer/ to freedom with pay”), but there’s little joy evident when the completed White House is unveiled. A grim reminder that in America’s early decades, freedom didn’t come cheap for many, and that our most venerated symbols, institutions, and forebears are not without flaws. Ages 5–8. Agent: Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. (Jan.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews