Published by Peachtree Publishing Company
Summary: Lil Alan is excited to be leaving before dawn for a family reunion down south. The whole clan is gathering at his father’s mother’s house. Aunts, uncles, and cousins join in a weekend celebration of their family. There’s lots of playing with cousins and eating delicious food, but there are also serious talks about their history–how their ancestors came from Africa in chains, but they fought for freedom until “a farmer and a teacher” bought the land where Granny now lives and grows cotton. Lil Alan worries all weekend about having a contribution to the traditional Sunday evening ceremony, but when the time comes he has thought of something to say that perfectly captures his family’s history. 32 pages: ages 4-8.
Pros: This would be an excellent mentor text for teaching narrative writing. The muted watercolor illustrations deserve some Caldecott consideration.
Cons: I wasn’t quite clear about who bought the land…was it Granny and her husband, or someone in the generation before her?