Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1925
Africa Is My Home
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
The story of Sarah Margru Kinson’s journey to America is absolutely remarkable and miraculous, considering that slavery during that time was, sadly enough, the major economy in our country’s history. Certainly there are many books available detailing the accounts of the Amistad; however, there are very few books targeting our youth and documenting the story of an African girl's serendipitous slave ship experience.
Magulu, as she was known in Mendeland (known today as Sierra Leone) in West Africa, was nine years old when she was taken captive by slave traders and put aboard a ship destined for Cuba. After seven weeks of traveling in complete darkness within the ship’s dank and unventilated hold, Magulu arrived in Cuba only to be sold and to be put aboard another ship, the Amistad, in yet another hold with about fifty other Mende, who were mostly men and three other children. Little did she know that Cinque, the well-known leader of the Amistad Mende, was devising plans for their freedom. Of course, the rest is history to readers familiar with the story, yet it does not include details about what became of the children, particularly Magulu.
Although the Amistad was fortunate to land in Connecticut, where slavery was illegal, the Mende men were, nonetheless, tried for mutiny and murder. Magulu (who was renamed Margru) and the three other children were considered witnesses. While the trial, which the Mende eventually won, dragged on for many months, the children in the meantime were given the wonderful opportunity to go to school. Margru in particular, who had quite a teachable spirit and the mark of a true missionary, was brought to the attention of Lewis Tappan -- a New York abolitionist who worked to achieve the freedom of slaves and who came to the defense of the Mende.
Before returning to West Africa, Margru was christened with a new name of her choosing: Sarah Kinson. Some white missionaries accompanied her and the other Mende on their trip home in hopes of setting up a mission; however, because of the fragile state of one of the white missionary women, Tappen recommended that Margru accompany her back to America. He also encouraged Margru to further her education by attending Oberlin College in Ohio, which she did, thus making her one of the first female international students in America.
Edinger’s use of first-person narrative laced with free-verse poetry not only brings Margru to life, but also personally connects young readers with a child of their age group who journals how it felt to be pulled away from her home and country to travel into unknown territory. The final touch of Byrd’s colorful yet meticulous child-like illustrations brings Margru’s story to completion. AFRICA IS MY HOME chronicles the life of one child’s near brush with slavery that opens the door to education -- truly a breath of fresh air during a detestable period of our country’s history. Included in this historical fiction are reproductions of primary resources and a personal note from the author. I consider it both an honor and privilege to read and review a story that is close to my heart and a powerful piece of the history of my community - Oberlin, Ohio.
Originally posted on Kidsreads.com.
Anita Lock, Book Reviewer
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Goodnight, Little Llama
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Little Llama, who is about to make a very...
The Boy and the Sea
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A picture book meditation on curiosity, wonder, and finding one’s...
In Your Cozy Bed
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
A soothing bedtime board book from the creators of In...
Chicks Rock!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rocker Chick overcomes stage fright to find her voice in...
The Beach (Bluey)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Read along and join Bluey's latest adventure! ...
All About Bluey
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Bluey! This lovable and imaginative Blue Heeler puppy is...
Instructions for Dancing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The critically...
Jonathan: Prince of Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Still recovering from the tragic loss of his mother, typical...
Missing the Beat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dream job? Check. The best friends? Check....
Meeting the Star
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The spotless reputation? Check. The gorgeous movie star?...
Making the Play
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The school of her dreams? Check. The perfect...
Runaway : Immortals of Indriell
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They claim her mother died a hero. They...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine...
Kneel
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression...
The Tragedy of Dane Riley
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A teen confronts his feelings about his father’s death,...
Heartbreakers and Fakers
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of The Best Laid Plans comes...

Latest Member Reviews

Goodnight, Little Llama
 
4.0
"GOODNIGHT, LITTLE LLAMA is a charming picture book story about friendship. Little Llama lives with her herd high in the..."
The Boy and the Sea
 
5.0
"THE BOY AND THE SEA is a beautiful story about growing up, dreaming, and peace. The boy brings his questions..."
In Your Cozy Bed
 
3.5
"IN YOUR BED is a cute board book containing a poem about bedtime. The book captures elements of bedtime, such..."
Chicks Rock!
 
5.0
"CHICKS ROCK! is a fun picture book about friendship, reaching for your dreams, and embracing your strengths. Rocker Chick loves..."
The Beach (Bluey)
 
4.5
"BLUEY: THE BEACH is a charming picture book about bravery and adventure. Bluey is excited to be at the beach..."
All About Bluey
 
4.0
"ALL ABOUT BLUEY is a cute board book that introduces the character and some simple facts about her. Whether..."
Instructions for Dancing
 
5.0
"INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING is an engaging YA contemporary about romance, family, and coming of age. Evie stopped believing in love..."
The Tragedy of Dane Riley
 
4.3
"THE TRAGEDY OF DANE RILEY is a compelling YA contemporary read about family, grief, depression, and mental illness. Dane is..."
The Shadow War
 
3.3
"What worked: Intriguing mix of Sci-fi with historical set during WWII. There is a lot going on in this engaging..."
Even and Odd
 
5.0
"Even and Odd are sisters born a year apart who share their magical power. Odd isn't thrilled with hers, and..."
Kneel
 
5.0
"Russell and his friend Marion live in Louisiana, and hope to use their skills at football to work their way..."
Goodnight, Little Bunny
 
4.5
"GOODNIGHT, LITTLE BUNNY is an interesting picture book read about a bunny's first trip out of the burrow. Bunny is..."
Flying Over Water
 
5.0
"When Jordyn's mother offers to help Noura Alwan's family settle in Tampa, Florida, Jordyn hopes that it will improve her..."
Rukhsanna Guidroz
 
5.0
"In 2012, Samira and her family are members of the Rohingya people. Because of the oppressive government in Myanmar (or..."
Not Now, Cow
 
5.0
"NOT NOW, COW is a charming and funny picture book about seasonal clothes. The animals are getting ready for each..."
Cucu! en el Mar/Peekaboo! in the Ocean
 
4.5
"CUCU! EN EL MAR/ PEEKABOO! IN THE OCEAN is an adorable bilingual lift-the-flap board book. Each page features an animal..."
Family Reunion
 
4.0
"FAMILY REUNION is a colorful picture book that captures all the joy of seeing family, even when you think you..."
The Dog Who Saved the World
 
5.0
"Georgie and her friend Ramzy enjoy hanging out in their seaside English town, romping with Georgie's rescue dog, Mr. Mash,..."
Mission Multiverse
 
4.0
"In the near future, Dev's family has moved from California to Conroy, Ohio because of the problems being caused on..."
A Season of Sinister Dreams
 
4.3
"A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS is an engaging YA fantasy that follows two young women, Evra and Annalise. Annalise lives..."