A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Recounts the history of African Americans, from their rich lives in Africa prior to enslavement to the conseqences of slavery and their persistence and determination to survive. Highlights details from an often ignored history.
You must always persevere and have hope for a better tomorrow. It is important to know your history and feel proud of it. All humans are created equal and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water highlights a diverse array of people from different parts of Central West Africa and America, of different ages, skin tones, and with a common dream of freedom and equality.
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Violence & Scariness
The book includes imagery and text about people being in chains, having bloody feet, being beaten, and being sprayed with water hoses. There's also a depiction of dying by jumping into the sea.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The 1619 Project: Born on the Water was co-written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery Honoree Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), based on The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Hannah-Jones' award-winning The New York Times Magazine piece of journalism that reframes the narrative of U.S. history and slavery. This picture book presents the most meaningful themes and facts for young readers in a developmentally appropriate and poetic way for younger readers. It's an emotional and important read that highlights Black resistance, the often untold history of Africa, and the legacy of slavery.
Is It Any Good?
This is an exquisite retelling of American history that highlights the legacy of slavery and Black resistance. Written as a series of poems, The 1619 Project: Born on the Water is an emotional read. Nikkolas Smith's accompanying rich and engaging illustrations evoke the mood of the words "[...] vibrant energy, some more chaotic and messy, some more peaceful." This is an important book for children, particularly young Black children, that teaches American history through a different lens. Some descriptions and depictions of violence may be difficult for young readers. Themes of the power of hope and love as well as the importance of freedom and equality are present throughout the book.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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