Build A House

 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
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Build A House
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
October 11, 2022
ISBN
1536222526
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Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens celebrates Black history and culture in her unflinching, uplifting, and gorgeously illustrated picture book debut.

I learned your words and wrote my song. I put my story down.

As an acclaimed musician, singer, songwriter, and cofounder of the traditional African American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rhiannon Giddens has long used her art to mine America’s musical past and manifest its future, passionately recovering lost voices and reconstructing a nation’s musical heritage. Written as a song to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth—which was originally performed with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma—and paired here with bold illustrations by painter Monica Mikai, Build a House tells the moving story of a people who would not be moved and the music that sustained them. Steeped in sorrow and joy, resilience and resolve, turmoil and transcendence, this dramatic debut offers a proud view of history and a vital message for readers of all ages: honor your heritage, express your truth, and let your voice soar, even—or perhaps especially—when your heart is heaviest

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Powerful Childrens Story
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
BUILD A HOUSE is based on a song from Rhiannon Giddens that teaches children about slavery and celebrates the holiday Juneteenth to commemorate the abolishment of slavery. The rhythm of the words makes the story read smooth and easy like we're singing it with her. It shows the strength African Americans have and the hardships they went through just to have a home. The message is powerful, and I love the afterword and snippet about the author that's in the back of the book to give children a bit more of an insight to the storyline.

While these topics can sometimes be difficult to put into the correct words, Rhiannon Giddens accomplishes this feat with beauty and inspiration. She finds a way to make this story flow and bring a smile to the reader's face while showing them how difficult their lives were. It teaches children to look at the positives in life and that home can be made anywhere with the right people. To not let the actions of others bring you down. The illustrations are lively and vibrant and depict the idea of embracing life no matter how hard things get. Her words invoke all the feels and brings goosebumps to my arms.


Final Verdict: Overall, the message is so beautiful that it'll bring tears to your eyes along with a smile. At the same time, it's a celebration of life and I would recommend it to children everywhere no matter their race. If we don't talk about history, then it's doomed to repeat itself, so I love how Rhiannon Giddens addresses the hard times by focusing on their strengths.
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Beautiful account of resilience
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Build a House is a beautifully haunting read with an important message.

The illustrations are gorgeous and and help bring the story to life.
The accompanying song is masterfully done, it is so moving and melancholic. It's the story verbatim, but with a haunting tune and vocals.
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