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Way Up and Over Everything [Hardcover]

Alice McGill , Jude Daly

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Book Description

March 21 2008
My great-grandmama’s mama told her and she told me this story about a long time ago . . .

So begins this account of the author’s great-great-grandmother Jane, and how she meets a slave new to the plantation, a slave who would prove to have magical powers . . . created by the wish for freedom. Alice McGill remembers this story, passed down in her family through the generations, from her childhood and how her greatgrandmother told it to her “as if unveiling a great, wonderful secret. My siblings and I believed that certain Africans shared this gift of taking to the air—‘way up and over everything.’”

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 21 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061838796X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618387960
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 26.7 x 1.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,589,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Daly's delicate and elongated figures...present a bird's-eye view of the story." Booklist Feb 1, 2008 Booklist, ALA

"It's a tale that will have profound effect." Kirkus Reviews 05/15/08 Kirkus Reviews

"Kids will be fascinated by this classic." Starred Review Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"McGill’s dramatic pacing, vivid details, and pungent narrative voice give the story immediacy." Horn Book, Starred

"Inspiring and informative." School Library Journal, Starred

About the Author

No Bio

Alice McGill is an award-winning author and professional storyteller. Among her books is the ALA Notable Molly Bannaky, winner of the 2000 IRA Picture Book Award and the 2000 Jane Addams Award. Alice McGill has toured to collect and tell stories in thirty-nine states, Canada, the West Indies, and South Africa. She lives with her husband in Columbia, Maryland.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars African-American legend of the slaves who floated their way to freedom March 28 2009
By D. Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Alice McGill's great-grandmama's mama was named Jane. She was a slave on Ol' Man Deboreaux's plantation in Georgia. They called him Ol' Man in private, but when they were working for him they were supposed to call him "master." In 1842 when Jane was sixteen, five more slaves were purchased for the plantation. A large percentage of the slave trade went through Charleston at that time, but Jane wouldn't have known that.

What Jane did know was that there were five new people coming to the plantation. There were two young men and three young women. The overseer wasn't very nice to them and instead of training them, he sent them right to the fields to work very hard. The whip sometimes would pop hard during a work day. It was a very difficult life for a slave. One of the young men tried to tell her that his name was "Edet." At least that is what she thought he was trying to tell her. But then the Africans were missing and the dogs were sent out after them! Legend has it, handed down by Jane's descendants, that they mysteriously floated up into the skies, one by one under the gaze of Jane, the Ol' Man and the cruel overseer. They warned her not to tell or there would be dire consequences.

"But Jane did tell. She told this story when she was a slave living in the quarters and she told it after she and her children escaped to freedom. And her children told this story too." And her great-great-granddaughter is telling it to us and I just loved it! This is a wonderful story to explore the history of slavery and the folklore that sprung up and was handed down through the generations by word of mouth.

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