They Built Me for Freedom: The Story of Juneteenth and Houston's Emancipation Park

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Product Details
$19.99  $18.59
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publish Date
8.75 X 11.2 X 0.3 inches | 0.93 pounds

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About the Author
Tonya Duncan Ellis has had her nose in a book since she learned to read, so it's no surprise that she'd one day become a writer. She is author of the Amazon bestselling Sophie Washington children's book series, a former journalist, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Fluent in French, Tonya loves learning about other cultures and has traveled to 49 states and 20 countries. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and three children.

Jenin Mohammed, winner of the 2020 Summer Spectacular Illustration Grand Prize, is the illustrator of the picture books Naming Ceremony, Song in the City, Super Mom, and All the Places We Call Home. She also draws the slice-of-life comic Knot Write Now. She lives in Florida. You can find her online at


"In this moving tribute to Houston's Emancipation Park, rousing prose lingers on the park's creation as well as its seasonal transformation during years of use, neglect, and rejuvenation. Mohammed's layered application of color and printmaking textures reflect the past and present." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Ellis' picture book celebrat[es] the history behind Emancipation Park. Mohammed's illustrations seem infused with sunlight, white space haloing the clear colors of greenery, children of many hues, and blue skies puffed with clouds. A happy book that shows young readers how public spaces can be created and saved to serve their communities." -- Booklist