Staff Picks: Books

Staff-recommended reading from the KPL catalog.

My Name is Sally Little Song

Sally May Harrison is a slave. Pa learns that Master is planning to sell her and her brother, Abraham, so Pa plans for the whole family to run away from the plantation. They encounter many terrors and tragedy en route. Ultimately, Sally’s family finds and lives with a tribe of Seminole people.

I was moved by the poetry at the beginning of each chapter of My Name is Sally Little Song, by Brenda Woods. Sally makes up songs, like her Mama taught her to do. With very few words, her songs capture the essence of what she and her family experience.

Pa tells the family they are leaving “day after t’morrow afore sunrise,” and to keep it a secret…”send no one a farewell look with your eyes.” The following chapter starts with:

“Gotta look down
Into the dirt all day
Or my brown eyes
Is sure to give us away”

Sally’s family travels at night, in hopes of escaping notice. When they get to swampland, her poem both describes the feeling in the swamp and foreshadows danger:

Grass wet
Beneath my feet
Owls say
Hoot
Night bugs fly
Snakes wriggle
Gators chomp
Swamp

Woods is the author of a 2003 Coretta Scott King Honor book, The Red Rose Box.

Book

My Name is Sally Little Song
0399243127
Christine

Comments

Terrific post!
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