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I Have Heard of a Land
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I Have Heard of a Land

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  66 ratings  ·  15 reviews
I have heard of a land
Where the imagination has no fences
Where what is dreamed one night
Is accomplished the next day

In the late 1880s, signs went up all around America - land was free in the Oklahoma territory. And it was free to everyone: Whites, Blacks, men and women alike. All one needed to stake a claim was hope and courage, strength and perseverance. Thousands of pion
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Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 5th 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1998)
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Shawn Thrasher
A picture book with poetic text, the words, rhythm and cadence expressing a woman's visions and dreams of a new world, with shadows of mourning for her present existence. Based on the author's family history of emigrating to Oklahoma during the land rush days. Floyd Cooper's award winning illustrations in oil wash perfectly illustrate a dream of things to come, with a color palette that mixes the hope with a sense of mournfulness. The pioneer woman's face and stance remain strong on every page t ...more
Esther
I Have Heard of a Land by Joyce Carol Thomas Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Published in 1998 by Joanna Cotler Books

Joyce Carol Thomas uses the experiences of her great-grandparents Charlie and Judy Graham in the early 1800's to depict the possibilities that were offered to African-Americans, especially women, during a time period when slavery was still in force. In an author's note at the end of the picture book, Thomas states that she heard stories from her aunt Corine about moving to Oklahoma and
...more
I Heart Corgis
Grade/interest level: grades 3-5th
Lexile level: NPL
Genre: Picture book, historical fiction
Main Characters: An African American woman
Setting: The United States
POV: 1st person

This book is about an African American pioneer woman. She is describing a promised land of pure awesomeness. The land goes on forever and is fertile. People can go there and be free to live as they want, in peace and abundance. It’s a simple place with simple luxuries, like church outside and people working together to make s
...more
Chester Richmond
This book was written by Joyce Carol Thomas and Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Thomas tells the story of her families westward travel across the U.S to Oklahoma during the time when many pioneers were searching for open land. Her family, unlike most however, was a family of black pioneers. Cooper shows both the struggle and the payoff of the settlers. Images of the harsh wind-blown snow, the endless trails to new land, and poor sleeping conditions show the struggle. Other images of members of a pi ...more
Matthew
This was a truly wonderful book about one women's quest to stake her claim for land in Oklahoma, about her belief that land in the west would grant her the sort of life she knew that she deserved. It was told through non-rhyming verse and was chock full of literary devices, metaphor in particular. The illustrations were award-worthy and the endnotes reveal the personal connection that the author had to the story. The about the illustrator section reveals that Floyd Cooper, the illustrator, had e ...more
Andrew Miller
There is a strong juxtaposition in the illustrations in this book. The illustrations are portrayed through watercolors in a depressing tone; however, the people are generally smiling. The illustrations make it obvious that these people live in subpar conditions and must work through hardships in life; however, they’re motivated to reach their goal of happiness. Essentially, it suggests the pursuit of happiness. The front and back covers show a place of happiness. The front cover is showing the g ...more
Breanna Haynes
I Have Heard of a Land by Joyce Carol Thomas and illustrated by Floyd Cooper was a really beautifully illustrated book. It wasn’t my favorite, but I still really loved it. I think that they illustrator may have used oil pastels mixed with some other medium in these illustrations. They were very beautiful and did a great job of evoking emotion for me as I was looking at them. I felt like this book was a very joyful book, because it was detailed enough to where I could feel the hope coming off of ...more
Shira Burns
I Have Heard of a Land is a good book to introduce the Westward Expansion of African Americans. This book describes the dreams of an African American woman and what she hopes to accomplish by going west to claim land in Oklahoma. Advertisement went up everywhere of land in Oklahoma that was free to anyone who claimed it first. This move surely took a lot of courage. By reading this book young readers will note how newly freed slaves established a new life out west.
Literacy Group
Sep 19, 2013 Literacy Group rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: K-2
This story is set in the late 1880s. During this time period, signs went up all around America advertising free land in the Oklahoma territory. And the land was free for everyone. So thousands of pioneers went west to start a new life in the Oklahoma territory. Many of these pioneers were African-Americans that had just been freed from slavery.
The Reading Countess
Coretta Scott King Award

The Oklahoma Land Runs of 1889 and 1893 are the backdrop of this gorgeously illustrated and beautifully written book. In a time when land equalled freedom and where women could own land (a rarity considering the time), the repetition of "I have heard of a land" sings in the reader's ear. Beautiful.
Monalisa Johnson-brown
This is a book about the Westward Expansion where African American freed slaves were able to start a new life. The travelled to the west where they were able to live and use the land that was found. They were able to enjoy freedom in a new place.
Meg
The illustrations of this book are absolutely stunning, and the story is unique.
Rachel
About African Americans who go to the West late 19th century.
Brindi
1999 CSKing Illustrator Honor
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Joyce Carol Thomas is an internationally renowned author who received the National Book Award for her first novel, Marked By Fire, and a Coretta Scott King Honor for her first picture book, Brown Honey In Broomwheat Tea. Her other titles include I Have Heard Of A Land, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; The Gospel Cinderella; cCrowning Glory; Gingerbread Days; and A Gathering Of Flowers. Ms. Thomas ...more
More about Joyce Carol Thomas...
The Blacker the Berry In the Land of Milk and Honey The Gospel Cinderella Marked by Fire Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea

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