Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons

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A young girl learns a new meaning for freedom during the time of Reconstruction

Ellen always knew the broom resting above the hearth was special. Before it was legal for her mother and father to officially be married, the broom was what made them a family anyway. But now all former slaves who had already been married in their hearts could register as lawful husband and wife.

When Ellen and her family make the long trip to the courthouse dressed in their best, she brings the broom her parents had jumped so many years before. Even though freedom has come, Ellen knows the old traditions are important too. After Mama and Papa's names are recorded in the register, Ellen nearly bursts with pride as her parents jump the broom once again.

Ellen is a wonderfully endearing character whose love for her family is brought to life in Daniel Minter's rich and eye-catching block print illustrations.

About Kelly Starling Lyons

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Kelly Starling Lyons (www.kellystarlinglyons.com) lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Daniel Minter (www.danielminter.com) lives in Portland, Maine.
Published January 5, 2012 by Putnam Juvenile. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ellen's Broom

Kirkus Reviews

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There’s happiness in the air for Ellen, her family and all their neighbors as they attend church services celebrating the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom.

Jan 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Ellen's Broom

Publishers Weekly

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Lyons’s (One Million Men and Me) modest story, set during Reconstruction, illuminates a historical milestone as well as the African-American slavery-era wedding ritual of broom jumping.

Nov 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Ellen's Broom

New York Journal of Books

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“Some African American families today broom jump at their weddings in memory of their slave history. Children who have seen this should enjoy Ellen’s story for the way it acknowledges these practices and provides insight into the African American past. . . . Colorful block print Illustrations by ...

Jan 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Ellen's Broom

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