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A bee who falls head-over-heels in love with a bluebird? An eagle who is afraid of heights? An alligator in search of cooler waters in Vermont? Readers of all ages will laugh at these irresistible creatures and their gleefully absurd predicaments, all the while unwittingly gathering wisdom about acceptance, ingenuity, and individuality.
When John Calvin Marshall graduated from Harvard in 1956, he was prepared for a life of teaching and relative tranquility. But history had another plan for him: here, a veteran author re-envisions the Martin Luther King Jr. story in fearful, exciting, and violent terms. Political and provocative, And All Our Wounds Forgiven is both a compelling political fable and a striking and tender love story about one of this century's most charismatic black leaders and the two women he loved.
The blues. It's that low-down feeling that makes you ache from your soul to the soles of your shoes. Here in the voice of a grandfather passing on a legacy to a younger generation, renowned author Julius Lester introduces ten of the hottest black blues singers of our time. The diva Aretha Franklin, the legendary Billie Holiday, and the fabulous B.B. King are just a taste of what's in store.
This is the story of Cupid--the god responsible for heartache, sleepless nights, and all those silly love songs--finally getting his comeuppance. When the god of love falls in love himself, things are bound to get interesting. And when he crosses his mama, Venus, in the process . . . Well, things could get downright messy. The much-lauded author of Pharaoh's Daughter and When Dad Killed Mom brings his renowned storytelling skills to one of the world's most famous tales. In doing so he weaves a romantic, hilarious drama brought to life with a bold new voice that's loaded with sly wisdom. Julius Lester's retelling is sure to draw new readers to classic mythology while satisfying old fans as well.
On March 2 and 3, 1859, the largest auction of slaves in American history took place in Savannah, Georgia. More than 400 slaves were sold. On the first day of the auction, the skies darkened and torrential rain began falling. The rain continued throughout the two days, stopping only when the auction had ended. The simultaneity of the rain storm with the auction led to these two days being called "the weeping time." Master storyteller Julius Lester has taken this footnote of history and created the crowning achievement of his literary career. Julius Lester tells the story of several characters including Emma, a slave owned by Pierce Butler and caretaker of his two daughters, and Pierce, a man with a mounting gambling debt and household to protect. Emma wants to teach his daughters--one who opposes slavery and one who supports it--to have kind hearts. Meanwhile, in a desperate bid to survive, Pierce decides to cash in his "assets" and host the largest slave auction in American history. And on that day, the skies open up and weep endlessly on the proceedings below. Using the multiple voices of enslaved Africans and their owners, Julius Lester has taken a little-known, all-true event in American history and transformed it into a heartbreaking and powerfully dramatic epic on slavery, and the struggle to affirm humanity in the midst of it.<P><P>Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal
"From Slave Ship to Freedom Road" presents the story of slavery from its beginnings on the infamous ships of the Middle Passage to the enslaved Africans and their descendants.
There are times when a tree can no longer withstand the pain inflicted on it, and the wind will take pity on that tree and topple it over in a mighty storm. All the other trees who witnessed the evil look down upon the fallen tree with envy. They pray for the day when a wind will end their suffering. I pray for the day when God will end mine. In a time and place without moral conscience, fourteen-year-old Ansel knows what is right and what is true. But it is dangerous to choose honesty, and so he chooses silence. Now an innocent man is dead, and Ansel feels the burden of his decision. He must also bear the pain of losing a friend, his family, and the love of a lifetime. Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honoree Julius Lester delivers a haunting and poignant novel about what happens when one group of people takes away the humanity of another.
John Henry is stronger than ten men, and can dig through a mountain faster than a steam drill. Julius Lester's folksy retelling of a popular African-American folk ballad has warmth, tall tale humor, and boundless energy. <P><P>Jerry Pinkney illustrates the story with "rich colors borrowed from the rocks and the earth, so beautiful that they summon their own share of smiles and tears" (Booklist).<P> Winner of the Caldecott Honor
Tales of why dogs chase cats, why the little man wants to be big. Lester skillfully retells these tales from black folklore.
With his boisterous friends and rowdy enemies, Brer Rabbit is on the road to adventure. He gets a job and figures out how to get paid--twice a day!
Meet Rambler, a runaway slave roaming the countryside with a guitar, who knows the only way to stay free is to keep moving. Louis is another runaway, fleeing the plantation where he was raised, because he is about to be sold. And Jake and Mandy's marriage is damaged by slavery -- and destroyed by freedom. Here is the African-American experience, brought alive by a master storyteller.
Julius Lester was born the son of a black Methodist minister in the south. His book Lovesong is a beautifully written account of his spiritual journey away from the conventions of his Southern heritage and Methodist upbringing, culminating in his personal self-discovery through a conversion to Judaism.Growing up in the turbulent civil rights era South, Lester was often discouraged by the disconnectedness between the promises of religion and the realities of his life. He used the outlets available to him to try to come to grips with this split and somehow reconcile the injustices he was witnessing with the purity of religion. He became a controversial writer and commentator, siding with neither blacks nor whites in his unconventional viewpoints. He became a luminal figure of the times, outside of the conventional labels of race, religion, politics, or philosophy.Lester's spiritual quest would take him through the existential landscape of his Southern, Christian upbringing, into his ancestry, winding through some of the holiest places on the planet and into the spiritual depths of the world's major religious cultures. His odyssey of faith would unexpectedly lead him to discovering Judaism as his true spiritual calling.
Iago has become fiercely jealous of Othello's success as a respected general in the King's army, and lies to make him doubt his wife's faithfulness. Will Othello discover the truth, or lose everything because of a lie?
Born into slavery, adopted as an infant by a princess, and raised in the palace of mighty Pharaoh, Moses struggles to define himself. And so do the three women who love him: his own embittered mother, forced to give him up by Pharaoh's decree; the Egyptian princess who defies her father and raises Moses as her own child; and his headstrong sister Almah, who discovers a greater kinship with the Egyptian deities than with her own God of the Hebrews. Told by Moses and his sister Almah from alternating points of view, this stunning novel by Newbery Honor-author Julius Lester probes questions of identity, faith, and destiny.
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman is re-created in a black southern storytelling voice in which the storyteller is involved--a voice readers may recognize from his retellings of The Tales of Uncle Remus, among others. He turns Sam's deals with hungry tigers into an exuberant battle of wits, and transforms his pancake dinner into a glorious feast for the whole community.
In two short stories and one novella, Julius Lester has created a rich, layered, and ringing portrait of the slave experience in America, and of the perseverance and bravery it took to seek out love and freedom during that time. Included is the tale of Ellen and William Craft, the escaped slaves who became famous abolitionists. And new for this edition, in honor of the book's twenty-fifth anniversary, is a thought-provoking author's preface about freedom and empathy. This Strange New Feeling is historical fiction at its finest.
A compilation of reminiscences of slaves and ex-slaves about their lives, from those leaving Africa through the Civil War into the 20th century. <P><P> Newbery Medal Honor Book.
Jenna and Jeremy knew their parents' marriage was in trouble. But no one could have predicted what would come next. Now with Mom dead and Dad in jail, Jenna and Jeremy must re-create a family of their own. But each guards a secret that could send their fragile new lives into a tailspin. Newbery Honor winner Julius Lester paints a dramatic portrait of a family forced to confront the unimaginable. Reader's guide included.