By A. LaFaye
Illustrated by Keith D. Shepherd
- Reading level: Ages 4-8
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press (August 9, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933693975
- ISBN-13: 978-1933693972
Young Gabe’s is a story of heartache and jubilation. He’s a child slave freed after the Civil War and he sets off to reunite himself with his mother who was sold before the war's end. “Come morning, the folks take to the road again, singing songs, telling stories and dream-talking of the lives they’re gonna live in freedom. And I follow, keeping my eyes open for my mama. Days pass into weeks and one gray evening as Mr. Dark laid down his coat, I see a woman with a yellow scarf ‘round her neck as bright as a star. I run up to grab her hand, saying, Mama?” Gabe's odyssey in search for his mother has an epic American quality, and Keith Shepherd’s illustrations—influenced deeply by the narrative work of Thomas Hart Benton—fervently portray the struggle in Gabe’s heroic quest.
A. LaFaye hopes Walking Home to Rosie Lee will honor all those African American families who struggled to reunite at the end of the Civil War and will pay her respects to those who banded together through the long struggle for freedom. She is the author of the Scott O'Dell Award winning novel Worth and lives in Tennessee with her daughter Adia.
Keith D. Shepherd is a painter, graphic designer and educator working out of Kansas City, Missouri. His painting “Sunday Best” is part of the Negro League Baseball Museum’s permanent collection. He describes his work as being “motivated by family, religion, history and music.”
Set at the end of the Civil War, this account of a freed slave boy’s search for his mother is distinguished by a vivid narrative voice and page-turning suspense
- June 6, 2011
Nikki Grimes, author of What is Goodbye?
What a treat! LaFaye has applied her considerable literary gifts to tell a post-Civil War story we rarely, if ever, hear, and has done so in a style as musical as any poem I've ever read. The voices truly sing. Bravo!
The Brown Book Shelf
A. LaFaye tells the story in an authentic southern voice, with an emotional arc that tugs at the heart. Newcomer Keith D. Shepherd’s rich acrylic paintings bring the story to life. A truly wonderful pairing of words and pictures.
- Don Tate, May 30, 2011
Applying paint in thickly brushed impasto, Shepherd views Gabe’s world and encounters from a child’s-eye height but gives the barefoot, raggedly clad boy a look of hard-won maturity that points to past sorrows and underscores the depth of his determination. His distinct voice will draw readers into caring about his quest and sharing the tide of joy that accompanies his ultimate success: “That night, I slept snuggled up tight with my mama, praying for all those boys like me searching for their mamas who be searching for them.” A deeply felt narrative...
- June 15, 2011