Heart and Soul

The Story of America and African Americans

By Kadir Nelson; Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)
(Balzer + Bray, Hardcover, 9780061730740, 108pp.)

Publication Date: September 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

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Description

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it’s about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it’s about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It’s a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination and triumphs.

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation’s most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an “Everywoman,” an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, heart and soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.




About the Author

Kadir Nelson is the talented author and illustrator of numerous award-winning picture books, including Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, and Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange. Known for the emotion his art conveys, Nelson says: "My work is all about healing and giving people a sense of hope and nobility. I want to show the strength and integrity of the human being and the human spirit." He lives in San Diego, California.




NPR
Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012

The American Library Association granted its 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award to Kadir Nelson for his children's book Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. The award goes to authors who promote an appreciation of all cultures. Host Michel Martin speaks with Nelson, plus Chrystal Carr Jeter of the award committee. More at NPR.org

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Praise For Heart and Soul

As in WE ARE THE SHIP, Nelson knits together the nation’s proudest moments with its most shameful, taking on the whole of African-American history. He handles this vast subject with easy grace. [Nelson’s] jaw-dropping portraits radiate determination and strength. A tremendous achievement.
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The dramatic oil paintings heighten the dignity of this story, whether they are of well-known historical figures, common folk or landscape…This intimate narrative makes the stories accessible to young readers and powerfully conveys how personal this history feels for many African-Americans.
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Nelson…adds to his notable titles with this powerful view of African American history. Illustrated with 44 full-page paintings, this handsome volume is told in the fictionalized, informal voice of an African American senior looking back on her life and remembering what her elders told her.
-Booklist (starred review)

Provocative and powerful, this book offers a much-needed perspective for individuals of all ages seeking to understand America’s past and present.
-School Library Journal (starred review)

Nelson effectively creates a voice that is at once singular and representative. A tour de force in the career of an author/artist who continues to outdo himself.
-Horn Book (starred review)

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