All Different Now by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Children’s lit, historical fiction

Medium: Hardcover

Synopsis: Through the eyes of a young narrator, readers are allowed to view what is a momentous day for all slaves: the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last slaves of the south.

Review:  Honestly, weeks have passed since I first read this and right now, reviewing it.  And I just got goosebumps.  That’s how powerful this story is, the history is, the images are.  This is a beautiful book, one that culminates in happiness and freedom.  It’s inspiring, and so incredibly momentous.

The illustration I best remember from this book is when they are celebrating at night–on the verso, there’s a fire, with embers trailing to the recto, where they’re dancing.  This fire is not symbolic of destruction: it’s creation, illumination.  And that’s ultimately what this book is: illuminating.  All Different Now is a must-read for anybody and everybody.

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