The Bell Rang


Product Details

$17.99  $16.55
Atheneum Books
Publish Date
10.0 X 11.2 X 0.5 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

James E. Ransome's highly acclaimed illustrations for The Bell Rang, which he also authored, received the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include the Coretta Scott King winner The Creation; Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed's Barbershop; Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; Before She Was Harriet, and Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome. One of their recent titles is Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams, which received four starred reviews and was an ALA Notable Children's Book. He lives in New York's Hudson River Valley region with his family. Visit James at


A unique and engaging perspective on enslaved families.--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
A powerful tale of slavery and its two terrible options: stay or run.--Booklist, starred review
With a text at once simple, rhythmic, and heartbreaking, Ransome conveys for a very young audience the grinding treadmill of slave labor and the impetus to leave loved ones for a chance at freedom.--BCCB
[A] startling force.--Publishers Weekly, starred review
[Ransome] succeeds in communicating the myriad and complex emotions of individuals choosing to flee chattel enslavement and the aftermath of those left behind. Without sugarcoating or minimizing the complexity of human emotion, the illustrations communicate what words cannot: the tender love of family, the cruelty of enslavement, the emptiness left after the loss of a loved one, and the ever-present dilemma of self-emancipation for those who lived in bondage.--Horn Book, starred review