Light in the Darkness

by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

During slavery, some African Americans would secretly gather in the dark of night... read more

During slavery, some African Americans would secretly gather in the dark of night to learn how to read. Young Rosa isn't sure why her mother is waking her the first time they attend a school in a hole dug into the earth. But she soon becomes an eager student. Then comes word two men were caught early in the morning on their way back from the school and severely punished. Rosa's mother is too afraid to go back, but Rosa grows more insistent as time passes, and they finally return. At first they are the only students, and when they hear approaching footsteps, Rosa imagines "a lash for each letter" she's learned. Courage and self-determination are the big themes of a vivid story that stays rooted in Rosa's perspective. The drama is enhanced by the plays of dark and light in the deeply toned illustrations. An author's note provides additional information on pit schools. (Ages 5-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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