I Have Heard of a Land

  • Title: I Have Heard of a Land
  • Author: Joyce Carol Thomas
  • Illustrator: Floyd Cooper
  • Publisher: Joanna Cotler Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication year: 1998
  • Brief Summary: From HarperCollins-“In the late 1880s, signs went up all around America – land was free in the Oklahoma territory. And it was free to everyone: Whites, Blacks, men and women alike. All one needed to stake a claim was hope and courage, strength and perseverance. Thousands of pioneers, many of them African-Americans newly freed from slavery, headed west to carve out a new life in the Oklahoma soil.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library –This book is great to bring up and use when a class is in the midst of a social studies lesson on the migration of African Americans out of the South post-Civil War, and on the Oklahoma land runs of the late 1880s.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –The vivid, detialed illustrations pair well with Thomas’s lyrical text. Probably my favorite illustrations is of the pioneer woman’s family huddled in their dwelling while she trudges back toward them in the cold snow, her hands clutched around her frail shawl but a smile on her face.

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