Friday, February 10, 2012

The Great Migration

The Great Migration: Journey to the North. Eloise Greenfield. Illustrations by Jan Spivey Gilchrist.  2011. HarperCollins. 26 pages.

Between 1915 and 1930, more than a million African Americans left their homes in the South, the southern part of the United States, and moved to the North. This movement was named "the Great Migration." 

The Great Migration is a poetry book that won a 2012 Coretta Scott King Honor in the author category. What I liked best about this poetry book is the diversity of narrative voices. Greenfield tells the story of the Great Migration through a series of different voices--old, young, man, woman, boy, girl. Some find leaving bittersweet; others can't wait to start a new life. Some are anxious, hesitant. Others are exuberant and confident. All of the poems feel personal.

My favorite may be "IV. Question: Men and Women"

Will I make a good life
for my family,
for myself?
The wheels are singing,
"Yes, you will,
you will, you will!"
I hope they're right.
I think they're right.
I know they're right.
We're going to have
a great life. Got to try it.
Going to do it. Going to
make it. No matter what.

Read The Great Migration
  • If you enjoy poetry written for children
  • If you enjoy poetry with a historical subject
  • If you're interested in this time period, 1915-1930
  • If you are interested in African American history

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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