I Have Heard of a Land (Revised)

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Product Details
$7.99  $7.43
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.14 X 0.15 inches | 0.28 pounds

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About the Author

Joyce Carol Thomas is an internationally renowned author who received the National Book Award for her first novel, Marked By Fire, and a Coretta Scott King Honor for The Blacker the Berry and for her first picture book, Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea. Her picture book I Have Heard of a Land received a Coretta Scott King Honor and an IRA/CBC Teachers' Choice Award and was an ALA Notable Book. Her other titles include The Gospel Cinderella, Crowning Glory, Gingerbread Days, and A Gathering of Flowers. Ms. Thomas lives in Berkeley, California.

Floyd Cooper (1956-2021) was a Coretta Scott King Award winner and illustrator of numerous books for children including Ruth and the Green Book, A Spy Called James, and Max and the Tag-Along Moon. Unspeakable, one of his final picture books, was a National Book Award longlist title, a Sibert Honor book, and a Caldecott Honor book. He received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma and went on to develop a distinctive art technique called oil erasure.

"In this lyrical tribute to the pioneer spirit, here personified by a Black woman. Thomas describes what it was like to arrive in untamed territory and try to turn it into a home. Thomas' mastery of language evokes both the feelings as well as the practicalities that came with the hard journey west. The strength and tenderness of Thomas' text are matched by Cooper's always evocative artwork. Thomas and Cooper both have their roots in Oklahoma, where this book is set. Thomas' wonderful author's note tells the story of her great-grandparents, who ran for land in the Oklahoma Territory, and illuminates the experience of African Americans 'surviving and thriving' in a place where freedom was more than a word." -- Booklist (starred review)

"The voice of an African-American pioneer woman poetically describes the lure of the nineteenth-century frontier--specifically, Oklahoma, where (as Thomas ex-plains in a concluding note) opportunities for independent women and black home-steaders were plentiful. Demonstrates the settlers' quiet pride in self-sufficiency, and that alone could be a valuable starting point for listeners to consider the relationship between dreams and success." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Land was a symbol of freedom to African-Americans, many of them former slaves, who settled the Oklahoma Territoiy in the late 1800s. The territories they staked out became their homes and then communities where their children could be raised as free. Thomas portrays how something as plain as the vast prairie, as simple as a sod hut, could look beautiful to these new settlers. She re-creates in fiction the histories of women, unrecorded except in diaries and anecdotes passed down through generations of her family; a note informs readers where the facts and writer's license diverge. Cooper's dusty drawings portray both the isoolation of the settlers' new life on the prairie and the strong human bonds that helped them endure." -- Kirkus Reviews

"This moving, poetic account of a brave Black woman who stakes a claim offers a new perspective on an era otherwise well-docu-mented in picture books and school texts. Thomas de-scribes the natural beauty of a bold new frontier as well as the hopeful, strong and passionate people who created new lives there and realized their dreams. Will also hold much appeal for teachers and students. Thomas's author's note about the book's origins adds a special resonance to the pro-ceedings." -- Publishers Weekly

"Thomas and Cooper shine again in this powerful tribute to the African-American pioneers who participated in the Oklahoma land runs of 1889 and 1893. This gem reveals some hidden facets as it singles out a lone woman who hears of a place where she has only to 'Lift up her feet running for the land/As though running for her life/ And in the running claim it.' Thomas's evocative poem is exalted by Cooper's warm, joyous, and majestic paintings of people living out their dreams. The layout and design of the book capture the expanse of the prairie with ful double-page spreads and carefully placed text." -- School Library Journal