Maggie's Amerikay

By Barbara Timberlake Russell; Jim Burke (Illustrator)
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374347222, 40pp.)

Publication Date: April 18, 2006

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“In Amerikay,” Maggie’s da has told her, “we will start anew.”
It’s 1898, and Maggie McCrary and her family have just crossed the ocean to settle in New Orleans. America is the answer to her father’s dream of books and proper learning. For her
mother, it offers the chance to buy land. But living in a crowded tenement watching her neighbors work hard all day, Maggie isn’t sure she likes Amerikay. Then Maggie discovers kinship in Nathan, an African American boy, and hope in the ragtime music he plays – music that seems to shout: Free! Free! I choose who I will be!
Striking illustrations pull readers into the rich mix of people that make up New Orleans in the 1890s and into the story of one young girl’s quest to find her own place in America.

Maggie's Amerikay is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

About the Author

was a commended title for the Americas Award. She lives in
Atlanta, Georgia. JIM BURKE's many illustration awards include
a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. He lives in
Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For Maggie's Amerikay

"This handsome picture book reveals the plight of immigrants at the turn of the century while paying tribute to the city where jazz was born."  --School Library Journal "With deft dialogue and well-chosen phrases, Russell enlivens the period." --Kirkus Reviews "With New Orleans so much in the news, this book will draw children to the city's vibrant history and music."  --Booklist

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