All different now Juneteenth, the first day of freedom

Angela Johnson, 1961-

Book - 2014

In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers [2014]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Audience
Ages 5-9.
ISBN
9780689873768
068987376X
Main Author
Angela Johnson, 1961- (-)
Other Authors
Earl B. Lewis (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

On June 19, 1865, a young slave girl and her family go about their daily routine, unaware that their lives are about to change. They wake to the smell of honeysuckle before they get ready to work all day in the hot fields of Texas. Before long, word spreads even to them: "We were all / now and forever free / and things / would be / all different now." Thus begin the celebrations that will be commemorated as Juneteenth, the day Texas slaves finally learned about their rights as freed people, a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Rich, subdued watercolors convey the celebrations with dignity and awe. Each page shows the slaves as a collective people, finally seeing a brighter future within reach. Johnson's attached verse enables younger readers to see the momentous nature of this date, while back matter appropriate for older readers provides a time line and other important factual references. A worthy addition to any collection on the topic. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This elegant collaboration by the creators of Lily Brown's Paintings tells of the day that slaves on a Texas plantation learn they are free, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Johnson's graceful poem is narrated by a girl who heads to the cotton fields one June morning with her family and other slaves, unaware "that soon,/ it would all be different." As word spreads, reactions range from serene contemplativeness to elation. Amid the cotton plants, an elderly man cries quietly, several adults bow their heads in prayer, and the girl's mother silently hugs her: "My mama held my hand softly/ and looked beyond,/ as another breeze blew over/ and everything/ fell to a/ hush." Using a lovely, muted palette, Lewis's expressive watercolors convey the impact of the news of freedom, dramatically contrasting the slaves' lives before and after. Initially picturing the slaves toiling "under the hot Texas sun," Lewis later captures their tranquil joy as they gather on a beach in the cool night "as free people." Back matter provides historical context for this powerfully visualized story. Ages 5–9. (May) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3 Up—Previous picture books about Juneteenth (the holiday celebrating the day slaves were freed in Texas—two years after the rest of the country) have focused on contemporary children discovering this quirk of history. Valerie Wesley's Freedom's Gifts (S. & S., 1997) and Carole Boston Weatherford's Juneteenth Jamboree (Lee & Low, 1995) fall into that category. Johnson imagines what it would be like to be a slave one minute and a free person the next. Spare text, structured as free verse, hones in on the smell of honeysuckle and breakfast routines as the day begins, like any other. The titular phrase appears three times: first to build suspense, then to indicate the earthshaking import of the message spreading from the port, and, finally, to reflect on the consequences. Lewis paints details not mentioned. The protagonist is a girl living in the slave quarters with her siblings and mother. They are working in the cotton fields when the news arrives. Skillful watercolor renderings depict nuanced changes in lighting and focus, thereby capturing individual responses to a community's new reality—from incredulity and quiet contemplation to rapture. Occasional panels indicate passing time; the brilliant clarity of the fields at noon fades to a green-blue gauze over the revelers heading home from a late-night celebration. A time line, glossary, overview, list of websites, and notes by author and illustrator provide deeper understanding. With a narrative notable for its understated simplicity and lack of judgment, this title allows readers to draw their own conclusions. An affecting entrée to a challenging conversation.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library [Page 84]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A sumptuously illustrated tribute to the first observance of African American Emancipation Day is told through the eyes of a joyful little girl. By the three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of The First Part Last and the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of Coming on Home Soon.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis.Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms.Told in Angela Johnson's signature melodic style and brought to life by E.B. Lewis's striking paintings, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation's history.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis.Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms.Told in Angela Johnson’s signature melodic style and brought to life by E.B. Lewis’s striking paintings, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation’s history.