Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Never Forgotten

The only son of the village blacksmith, Musafa is raised by his father, Dinga, after his mother dies in childbirth.  They lead a happy life, blessed by the Mother Elements, until Musafa is captured by slave traders.  Earth, Fire, Water and Wind track his journey, reporting back to Dinga his son's strength in the face of adversity.

Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon is the focus of one of Left Bank Books' Author Events.

Told in verse, this is the story of a side of slavery that is seldom discussed:  The grief of the loved ones left behind by the Taken.  Dinga and Musafa's lives are filled with a deep spirituality and respect for the natural world from the beginning.  When Musafa is captured, it is his spirit that keeps him going and Dinga's relationship with the Elements that brings him solace.  The gorgeous woodcut-style illustrations are richly evocative of both setting and character.  The reading level is higher than that of most picture books.  This would be an excellent book to discuss as a family with slightly older kids, but it would also be a wonderful gift for anyone with an interest in African history, children or no.  Regardless of age, this would be a respected addition to most any library.

Never Forgotten is published by Schwartz & Wade and retails for $18.99.  I bought my copy with my very own money.  You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!

Patricia C. McKissack will be at Left Bank Books--Central West End at 7:00 tomorrow (Wednesday, December 14) at 7:00 p.m. to discuss and sign Never Forgotten (along with some of her other books).

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