Friday, April 26, 2013

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Love Twelve Miles Long

Title: Love Twelve Miles Long

Author: Glenda Armand

Illustrator: Colin Bootman

Publisher: Lee& Low Books, Nov 1, 2011

Theme: Biography, African/African American Interest, Childhood Experiences/Memories, Dreams & Aspirations, Family Traditions, Heroism, Historical Interest, Mothers, Overcoming Obstacles, Religion/Spiritual, Self Esteem/Identity, Slavery, United States History

Age: 6 and up

Opening: This was a special night. Mama had come to visit, and Fredrick's stomach was full of the sweet ginger cake she had brought him.

It's late at night, and Frederick's mother has traveled twelve miles to visit him. When Frederick asks Mama how she can walk so far, Mama recounts her journey mile by mile. Every step of the way is special, as it brings them closer together; and Mama passes the time by remembering, listening, praying, singing, and more. Set on a plantation in 1820s Maryland, this story based on the life of young Frederick Douglass shows the power of his mother's love.

Social Studies for Kids: Fredrick Douglass
A printable instant book about Fredrick Douglass
Discussion topics: Fredrick Douglass' mother thought about something special for each mile she walked. Discuss with children what each mile represented. Then ask your child(ren) to discuss what they'd think about during a twelve mile walk.

Why I like the Book:

I remember when I was a child, my mom told me the story of Fredrick Douglass and the story of his mother, of how she traveled 12 miles late at night just to see her son. I remember being in awe of his mother. Twelve miles seemed like forever walking to me. But she did it despite working hard all day, being tired, aching back and feet. The way Glenda Armand tells this story is simply beautiful and enchanting. Each mile represents how Fredrick Douglass' mother spends her time to get to him. Starting from the first mile which is for forgetting, forgetting how tired she is, forgetting her aches and pains, forgetting that she has worked all day and has to return to work at sunrise. Slowly she goes from forgetting to remembering, listening, looking up, wondering about God, praying, singing, smiling, giving thanks, hoping, dreaming, and the final mile being, love. Her short and sweet moments with Fredrick Douglass was a great lesson for him then and still a great lesson for us today. Love is a very powerful emotion. History proved it. Fredrick Douglass took his mother's love, hope, dreams and lessons and became a great man in both US and African American history.


Anonymous said...

This is beautiful and powerful. Wow! I am blown away. Thankyou for bringing it to my attention.

Joanna said...

Powerful story!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

This sounds absolutely lovely, Saba. A timeless story of the love of a mother for her child and what lengths mothers will go to. Thanks for sharing :)

Glenda said...

Thank you for your beautiful words. For me,this story was truly a work of "heart"!
Glenda Armand

Mia said...

I didn't know about Frederick Douglas' mother and that she walked so far to see him. Behind every great man is a wonderful mother and/or father! Thanks so much for linking up to the Mulicultural Children's Book Day linky! I am really enjoying your wonderful book reviews!