by Antonio Hernandez Madrigal; Gerardo Suzan (Illustrator); Luna Rising Editors
Publication Date: 2000-02-25
Saint Francis of Assisi Day is celebrated in Mexico and many other countries, including the United States, each year on October 4. Since the twelfth century, men, women, and children have paraded their newborn farm animals and pets to the local church to receive a blessing that will protect them from disease and predators. In Blanca's Feather, Antonio Hernandez Madrigal weaves together the rituals of this ceremony with the special friendship between a girl and her pet. Rosalia can't wait to take her hen, Blanca, to the blessing, but when it's time to leave for the chapel, Blanca is nowhere to be found. When Blanca finally comes out from her hiding spot, she is surrounded by a fluffy batch of newly hatched chicks.
In the early nineteenth century, enslaved Africans are not allowed to gather together in groups. for Simmy and his family, that means they must worship in secret. If they are caught, the punishment will be terrible. Simmy's job is to watch for danger while the others pray and sing as the Spirit moves them. Will he be able to keep the hush harbor safe?
"John wants to be a preacher when he grows up-a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm's flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice. Celebrating ingenuity and dreaming big, this inspirational story, featuring Jabari Asim's stirring prose and E. B. Lewis's stunning, light-filled impressionistic watercolor paintings, includes an author's note about John Lewis, who grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. John Lewis is now a Georgia congressman, who is still an activist today, recently holding a sit-in on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol to try to force a vote on gun violence."