Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to request physical items has been temporarily disabled. Click here to find out how to create lists of items to request later. You can still request OverDrive items from this site, and all digital resources remain available through the eLibrary site. If you need a library card, register here.

Let my people go : Bible stories told by a freeman of color to his daughter Charlotte, in Charleston, South Carolina, 1806-16

by McKissack, Pat, 1944-2017

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Carnegie Library of Homestead Children Fiction J FIC McKi
Location  Carnegie Library of Homestead
Collection  Children Fiction
Call Number  J FIC McKi
"Come join me as I take you back to Charleston, South Carolina, to my father's forge in the early 1800's. Sit with me on the woodpile as he tells a tale of faith, hope, or love."
In this extraordinary collection, Charlotte Jefferies and her father Price, a former slave, introduce us to twelve best loved Bible tales, from Genesis to Daniel, and reveal their significance in the lives of African Americans--and indeed of all oppressed peoples.
When Charlotte wants to understand the cruel injustices of her time, she turns to her father. Does the powerful slaveholder, Mr. Sam Riley, who seems to own all that surrounds them, also own the sun and moon? she wonders. Price's answer is to tell the story of Creation. How can God allow an evil like slavery to exist? she asks. Price responds by telling the story of the Hebrews' Exodus -- and shows Charlotte that someday their people, too, will be free.
With exquisite clarity, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack and James Ransome -- a Newbery Honor winner and all Coretta Scott King Award winners -- brilliantly illuminate the parallels between the stories of the Jews and African-American history. Let My People Go is a triumphant celebration of both the human spirit and the enduring power of story as a source of strength.
Our hope is that this book will be like a lighthouse that can guide young readers through good times and bad....The ideas that these ancient stories hold are not for one people, at one time, in one place. They are for all of us, for all times, everywhere.
--from the Authors' Note to Let My People Go
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Gr. 5-8. Slaves and freedmen in the U.S. saw themselves in the Old Testament characters and found courage and strength in the Bible stories. This stirring book shows that connection. The McKissacks retell the Old Testament in the voice of Price Jefferies, once a slave, now a free black abolitionist in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early nineteenth century. In each chapter, Jefferies' child witnesses the oppression of slavery and speaks to her father about it; each time, he tells her a Bible story that relates to their world. The child helps a runaway slave: her father tells her the story of David and Goliath. Her friend is sold away from home: the Bible story is Joseph. She hears about how her parents had to wait years to marry while her father worked to buy her mother's freedom: the story is Rachel and Jacob. A brave woman who is passing for white risks her life to save captive slaves: the Bible story is Esther. The stories keep to the order of the Old Testament, from the Creation to The Book of Proverbs. Notes at the back comment on sources and on the history. Only a few of Ransome's handsome, powerful oil paintings were seen in galley, but they are compelling, beautiful interpretations of the narrative: strong portraits in muted shades for the history; romantic, radiant scenes for the Bible stories. He says in his illustrator's note that he wanted to "draw people with brown and olive complexions, or Semites . . . to dispel the myth created by European representations of Bible characters." With the rhythm and intimacy of the oral tradition, this is storytelling for family and group sharing and also for talking about history and our connections with the universals of the Old Testament. (Reviewed October 1, 1998)0689808569Hazel Rochman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this stunning achievement, the renowned husband-and-wife team sets 12 Old Testament stories in the context of early 19th-century South Carolina, illustrated with Ransome's glorious paintings. As the McKissacks state in their introduction, "The stories are timeless treasures, universally read and honored, but no group embraced the Hebrew heroes of old more than African Americans during slavery times." The dozen tales unfold as Price Jeffries, who won his freedom in a seaman's lottery, tells them to his daughter in answer to her questions about what she sees happening in the world around her. The collection opens as father and daughter encounter a constable for wealthy slaveholder Mr. Riley and Charlotte asks her father, "Do Mr. Sam Riley own the moon?" He responds with the story of creation and tells her, "Nobody can make a slave of the moon, the sun, the stars, or any part of what God created, no matter how rich they may be. God made something wonderful out of nothing. What human being can do that?" Through the characters of Charlotte and Price Jeffries, based on historical abolitionists, the McKissacks answer the toughest questions of this troubling period of American history with stories of faith. When Charlotte witnesses an African child's death on the auction block, she asks her father, "Why is it God lets one person buy and own another person?" He answers with the story of Eden and "how God let the first people make their own choices." The story of the courtship of Charlotte's parents ("a love worth waiting for") leads the way to that of Jacob and Rachel. Each Old Testament story builds upon the one before it, weaving the development of Charlotte's personal history and the Biblical stories into a seamless whole. The volume's design further integrates the interlacing elements: Charlotte's story is set in warm bluish type, the Biblical retellings in classic black. Ransome's remarkable portraits capture the full range of Charlotte's and Price's emotions, as well as the serene dignity of leaders such as Solomon and Moses and of Daniel in the lion's den. His version of dramatic Old Testament events, particularly his vision of the creation, are captivating. Readers will likely return to this extraordinary volume again and again, knowing that the answers to life's painful questions reside in the stories of faith that have comforted others for thousands of years. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects African Americans -- Juvenile fiction.
African Americans -- Fiction.
Slavery -- Fiction.
Fathers and daughters -- Fiction.
Bible stories -- Old Testament.
Publisher New York :Atheneum Books for Young Readers,1998
Edition 1st ed.
Contributors McKissack, Fredrick.
Ransome, James.
Language English
Notes "An Anne Schwartz book."
Description vii, 134 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-134).
ISBN 0689808569
Other Classic View