The walk to school is long. Some days it's rainy, or windy, or freezing cold. Sometimes there are dangers lurking along the way, like angry white folks with rocks, or mysterious men on horseback. The schoolhouse is still unpainted, and its very plain, but Lizzie has never seen a prettier sight. Except for maybe the teacher, Mizz Howard, who has brown skin, just like her.
They've finally made it to Freedom's School. But will it be strong enough to stand forever?
Praise for Light in the Darkness
"In this tale, Cline-Ransome] makes the point that learning was not just a dream of a few famous and accomplished men and women, but one that belonged to ordinary folk willing to risk their lives. Ransome's full-page watercolor paintings-in beautiful shades of blue for the night and yellow for the day-are a window, albeit somewhat gentle, into a slave's life for younger readers. A compelling story about those willing to risk " a] lash for each letter." -Kirkus Reviews
"Told from the perspective of Rosa, a girl who makes the dangerous nighttime journey to the lessons with her mother, the story effectively conveys the urgent dedication of the characters to their surreptitious schooling and their belief in the power of literacy...Solid text and soft, skillful illustrations combine for a poignant tribute to the power of education and the human spirit."-School Library Journal
- ISBN-13: 9781423161035
- ISBN-10: 1423161033
- Publisher: Jump at the Sun
- Publish Date: January 2015
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 6-9
- Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-11-17
- Reviewer: Staff
The Emancipation Proclamation has been signed; Lizzie’s parents “went to sleep slaves and woke up free.” Now they insist Lizzie and her brother go to the new school built “just for us”—even though it means two less pairs of hands to help out on the family’s meager farm. “Real freedom means ’rithmetic and writing,” Mama says. But the school, its students, and its young teacher (a Northerner who has skin “just as brown as mine,” Lizzie marvels) quickly become flashpoints for people determined to halt progress and justice. This collaboration from the Ransomes (Light in the Darkness) isn’t always narratively taut—it pulls its dramatic punches, and the text reaches for an earnest folksiness (“we both knew that halfway to freedom feels like no freedom at all”). But James Ransome’s watercolors are, as always, emotionally generous, cinematic in their sensibility, and resplendent with gorgeous color. Gradually, the story deepens its hold, and readers will come away understanding why it takes more than the stroke of a pen to give people the justice and equality they deserve. Ages 6–8. (Jan.)