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The 1619 Project’s Lyrical Picture Book, for Children, Chronicles the History of Black Resistance - 11/18/2021


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BornontheWater AALBC 28503 3p

The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.

A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.

But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived.

And the people planted dreams and hope,
willed themselves to keep
living, living.

And the people learned new words
for love
for friend
for family

for joy
for grow
for home.

With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.

Praise for The 1619 Project: Born on the Water:
* A Barnes & Noble “Book of the Year” finalist
* A Barnes & Noble “Best Picture Book of 2021”
* A Publishers Weekly “Best Book of 2021”
* An am*zon “Best of November, Ages 6-8”

 “A celebration of Black Americans for young readers, derived from Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project…Smith’s evocative, vibrant art is full of emotion and motion…Overall it is a tremendous achievement.” – Kirkus, starred review

 “Written in lovely and loving verse, with dynamic, expressive, and expansive illustrations that convey the emotional journey of a resilient people, this book provides a moving, informative answer to an essential question.” – Horn Book, starred review

 “While detailing the specifics of an often-obscured history and its effects, this volume powerfully emphasizes that Black history is not merely a story of slavery and suffering but one of perseverance and hope.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

 “A stunning work, providing a glimpse into the history of the Black experience before and after the slave trade; the poetic language and breathtaking artwork will have a lasting effect on readers.” – School Library Journal, starred review

Born on the Water isn’t just a reframing of American history; it reframes how children, especially Black children, are taught their own history." – Essence

“My mind was overwhelmed by the power of this breathtaking book…The narrative free verse used to tell the story is magnificent. Every title, line, and word flow flawlessly…enriched even more by Nikkolas Smith’s jaw-dropping illustrations…will inspire pride, empathy, and, hopefully, activism in readers." – The Brown Bookshelf


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