02 January 2015
The Greatest Gift...Freedom
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters, Patricia McKissack and Frederick McKissack
This is a picture book for children about slavery just before the Civil War, portraying the two different celebrations on a Southern plantation: the opulent world of the planter and his family and the poor living conditions of their slaves. While Christmas means the slaves are given extra privileges and more food and a chance to also celebrate the holiday, the comparison between the revelries of the planter's families and the simple celebrations of the slaves make the point of the story all the more powerful.
This is a simple way of introducing children to the injustices that existed during the time of slavery, with beautiful illustrations that bring the dreams of freedom of the enslaved men and women alive.