Like a Bird
The Art of the American Slave Song
Enslaved African Americans longed for freedom, and that longing took many forms—including music. Drawing on biblical imagery, slave songs both expressed the sorrow of life in bondage and offered a rallying cry for the spirit.
Like a Bird brings together text, music, and illustrations by Coretta Scott King Award–winning illustrator Michele Wood to convey the rich meaning behind thirteen of these powerful songs.
|Interest Level||Grade 3 - Grade 6|
|Reading Level||Grade 4|
|Genre||Nonfiction, Picture Books|
|Subject||Diversity, Social Studies|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Millbrook Press ™|
|Number of Pages||40|
|Reading Counts! Level||8.5|
|BISACS||JNF025270, JNF036000, JNF018010|
|Dimensions||10.625 x 8.25|
|ATOS Reading Level||6.3|
|Accelerated Reader® Quiz||182596|
|Accelerated Reader® Points||0.5|
|Features||Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews|
- Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices
- Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
- Land of Enchantment Book Award Readling List Selection
- New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
- Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children
School Library Journal
“This is an excellent resource for music and art teachers as well as for social studies and U.S. history lessons.”—starred, School Library Journal
“Beautiful illustrations and short, informative paragraphs come together. . . . While excellent for music classes, the wealth of historical context makes this a good pick for lessons on the history of U.S. slavery as well.”—Booklist
“An important work that gives new life to old and important songs.”—Kirkus Reviews
Author: Cynthia Grady
Cynthia Grady is an author as well as a former middle school librarian and teacher. She lives in New Mexico where she plays music for her two rabbits, Finoa and Banjo. Visit her at www.cynthiagrady.com.
Illustrator: Michele Wood
Michele Wood is an illustrator, painter, and designer living in Indianapolis. Her first book, Going Back Home, was honored with an American Book Award. Wood’s second book, I See the Rhythm, written by Toyomi Igus, received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. After illustrating Cynthia Grady's I Lay My Stitches Down, Wood was honored with the Ashley Bryan Award for Illustration and in 2016, she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for the book Chasing Freedom. Wood's work continues to be exhibited in major art spaces across the country.
Photo credit: Kevin Parker