When Grandmama Sings by Margaree King Mitchell

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"Belle, tonight was special. I could feel all of those folks with me. I want us to feel this way all the time. I want to sing in a place where black people and white people aren't kept apart," Grandmama said. "That's the kind of world I want for you."

When Grandmama Coles gets a big chance, Belle gets one, too. Belle's going to spend the summer touring the South with Grandmama and a swing jazz band! Belle's never been outside Pecan Flats, Mississippi, and she can't wait to go on the road with Grandmama, helping her read signs and menus and hearing her sing. There are so many new things to see on their travels through the Deep South. But some things aren't new. Everything is segregated, just like at home. But Grandmama stands up for what's right. And when she sings, Belle knows that Grandmama's song can bring everyone together.

From Margaree King Mitchell and James E. Ransome, the award-winning author and artist of Uncle Jed's Barbershop, comes this new picture-book collaboration about the gift of love, the beauty of music, and its power to bring people together—even in the segregated South.


About Margaree King Mitchell

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Margaree King Mitchell is the author of the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s Barbershop, illustrated by James E. Ransome, and Granddaddy’s Gift. She is the creator of the Everybody Has a Dream program, which empowers students in urban and rural areas to shoot for the stars with aspirations for their lives. Margaree lives in Kansas City, KS, where she is a member of the Midwest Children’s Authors Guild. James Ransome's work has appeared in nearly fifty books for children, including the Coretta Scott King Award Book The Creation by James Weldon Johnson and Satchel Paige and Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, both written by his wife, Lesa Cline-Ransome. His traveling exhibit "Visual Stories" is featured in libraries and museums throughout the country. He lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his family.
Published January 3, 2012 by Amistad. 40 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for When Grandmama Sings

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s a moment that inspires Belle to dream, because “the promise of her song helped me believe in myself.” As in Uncle Jed’s Barbershop (1993), for which Ransome won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, Mitchell has crafted another compelling story of an African-American family both strong and...

Dec 20 2011 | Read Full Review of When Grandmama Sings

Publishers Weekly

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Mitchell and Ransome, the team behind Coretta Scott King Honor–winner Uncle Jed’s Barbershop, reunite for another story set in the early 20th century, in which intimate family relationships are set against a backdrop of racial segregation.

Nov 28 2011 | Read Full Review of When Grandmama Sings

City Book Review

When Grandmama Sings takes readers back to the segregated Deep South where obstacles abound, but courage and the desire to chase a dream are much greater.

Mar 01 2012 | Read Full Review of When Grandmama Sings

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