Never Forgotten
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Never Forgotten

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  331 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

"Forceful and iconic," raved Publishers Weekly in a starred review. This gorgeous picture book by Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and two-time Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-wife team Leo and Diane Dillon is sure to become a treasured keepsake for African American families. Set in West Africa, this a lyrical story-...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Never Forgotten, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Never Forgotten

Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnellI Want My Hat Back by Jon KlassenGrandpa Green by Lane SmithPerfect Square by Michael  HallBlackout by John Rocco
2012 Mock Caldecott
33rd out of 83 books — 179 voters
Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
87th out of 167 books — 675 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 682)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The more I read children’s literature the more I come to realize that my favorite books for kids are the ones that can take disparate facts, elements, and stories and then weave them together into a perfect whole. That someone like Brian Selznick can link automatons and the films of Georges Melies in The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Kate Milford can spin a story from the history of bicycles and the Jake Leg Scandal in The Boneshaker thrills me. Usually such authors reserve their talents for chapt...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'm going to call this a novel (more like a story) in verse, because it's catalogued as fiction and it's told in poems. Patricia McKissack has written another winner with this account of a Mende blacksmith's beloved son, who is captured and sold into slavery in Carolina. McKissack states in her author's note at the end that she wanted to tell the story of the people left behind in Africa, and how they remembered their loved ones who were stolen away. The lyrical words and the Dillons' beautiful...more
Margo Tanenbaum
I was immediately drawn to the stunning cover of this new work by Patricia C. McKissack, who has written or co-authored over 100 books about the African-American experience and has received countless awards for her work. In her newest work, she marries African folktales with historical fiction, telling in free verse the story of an 18th century West African boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements--Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth. The boy, named Mufasa, disappears one day, like s...more
May 10, 2012 Carolynne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Malinda, Abigail, Gundula, Kathryn, Holly
Recommended to Carolynne by: Elizabeth Bird
McKissack emulates the chant of the griots before and after slavers kidnapped a young boy from a Mali village. She focuses on his father, a blacksmith, who according to tradition commands the four elements of earth, wind, water, and fire, and here uses them to try to find his beloved son. It is the wind who finds the boy who was lost, and tells his people what has become of him. Rather too optimistic an ending, but if I were the wind, I'd have done the same. Moving, poetic, sometimes dense text....more
An inspiring meld of African folk literature and modern storytelling technique, Never Forgotten is stunning in equal measure for its emotionally involving plot and the evocative artwork that accompanies it; of course, this is what one tends to expect from author Patricia C. McKissack and illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon. So much of why this story hits home like it does is the flawless way in which text and artwork fit together to give a sweeping, unobscured vision of African culture and the jo...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Oct 02, 2011 Meagan Myhren-bennett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Libraries, Home Schoolers, All Age Groups
Shelves: history, slavery, family
By Patricia C. McKissack
Artwork by Leo and Diane Dillon

This is the most difficult book review, to date, that I have ever written. Nothing I write can do justice to this superb work of art. Never Forgotten is indeed a work of art. It is moving and touches the soul.

Never Forgotten is a story of love, a story of memory, and a story of family. The lyrical meter and the artwork add to the feel, the moment of the story.

Never Forgotten is a story of slavery, but it is told from the pers...more
Debra Wake
Audience - Grade level K and up, students studying slavery and black history,

Subject - multi-cultural, black history, African storytelling and music

Appeal - This is the story of what happened when the slaves were taken in Africa. It is the story of Dinga and his son Musafa. Musafa was brought up by Dinga with the help of Earth, Fire, Wind and Water and was taken and sold into slavery. His father never stopped missing him and loving him. Mufasa grew to be a strong, wise man bcause he never forgo...more
Ashley Gregory
Audience: 3rd-6th grade boys and girls, history classes, art classes.

Appeal: This story was different from the moment I opened the cover. Not just one story, but many stories being told that allow the reader to feel, see, and sense what it was like to be an African slave. The author did a fantastic job of bringing together stories of the people From the blacksmith to the naming of a child, it all was represented beautifully. The artwork in itself captured a different aspect of the story as well...more
This is a 2012 Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award book. This book is gender neutral and is supposed to be for Kindergarten and up but I believe that it is quite a difficult book to read. A Kindergartener may have the patience for someone to read this rather long picture book, but it will take a very good reader to be able to read it by themselves. The book is in a poem format. It's rather sad because a father loses his son to slavery, and it just makes you reflect on how much that would hurt...more
Rosa Cline
This is a beautifully written in poem form about what it would have been like to been an African and have your child stolen from you never to know where they are or what happened to them. This story starts with the birth of a baby boy, and his mother dying. His Dad wants to celebrate his birth and honor her with keeping him and raising him as he should instead of giving him to a tribe woman to raise as hers. The dad raises him with the help of his Faith in his God. Teaches his son his Blacksmith...more
Soccer_pro_18 (ligi)
I thought this book was really good it teaches you a lot of thing and i'm not going to tell you because I don't want to spoil it for you!!!!!!!!!!
Edward Sullivan
A stunning, profoundly moving collaboration between a superb writer and two amazingly gifted artists.
A beautiful series of poems that tells the tale of a young African boy who is taken from his home as a slave. Musafa's mother dies in childbirth and he is raised by his father Dinga. Dinga calls on the earth, fire, water and wind to help raise his child. Musafa learns the blacksmith trade from his father, although he has a much more creative approach. From the earth, fire, water and wind, Musafa learns about the world and life. When Musafa does not return home one day, his father discovers he ha...more
Never Forgotten, written by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, is a nominee for the 2013-14 South Carolina Children's Book Award.

Never Forgotten is a beautiful, poetic book that, in my opinion, fills a void when it comes to studies of slavery. This book of poetry takes a look at the relationship between a man, his son, the elements that were a huge part of their lives as blacksmiths in Africa, and how their lives were impacted by the slave trade.

When the young boy, M...more
Not only is the story of Dinga, a Mende blacksmith in West Africa, and his lost son Musafa not to be forgotten, but the lush, incredibly detailed acrylic and watercolor illustrations of this book are just as memorable. Told as a novel in verse that has the rythmn of a folktale, passed down from generation to generation, the story focuses on the love Dinga has for his son. When Musafa's mother dies in childbirth, Dinga entreats Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water to help him raise his son. All goes well...more
Jenna Foiles
Audience: Primary

Genre: Historical/Fantasy Picture Book

Award: Coretta Scott King Honor

Text to World: This book can be connected to the world not only in its historical connection but also in its cultural connection. From a historical point of view the general underlying story is something that actually did happen at one point in time. People in Africa were taken away from their homes to be slaves in another country. There they were forced to do things. This happens to Musafa, as he is taken to...more
Never Forgotten is just that, never forgotten. I will always remember the story and images this book portrays from its beautiful illustrations and poetic words written in verse. It tells a story in West Africa about a blacksmith named Dinga, who loses his son Musafa who is kidnapped to the evils of slavery. It shows Musafa’s life growing up and how he was shaped by Mother Elements of Wind, Earth, Fire, and Water whom his father speaks to. When Musafa disappears everything turns bad and all of th...more
This is a wonderful story, told through poetic verse, about African culture and the struggles people went through during the slave trade. It incorporates African legends (including a legend about blacksmiths and the four elements of earth) and stories about those who were taken into slavery and the families who never forget them when they were left behind. Truly beautiful artwork that ties in aspect of African art and culture. Would make for a great read-aloud and small group analysis.
Mary Mayfield
Audience: Although this is a picture book, I think it could be used with both primary and intermediate students. It would be good for scratching the surface of slavery with primary children and could also be used with intermediate children to delve deeper into the study of slavery. The author's note at the end would be particularly useful with older students.
Genre: traditional literature/historical fiction
Mental image quote: "It's belly bulged with children snatched from Mother Africa's arms." (...more
The tale of Musafa, a gifted slave blacksmith apprentice, is told from his birth to his time as a slave. Elements of African and Caribbean folktales are woven in. The story is told in verse from the perspective of Musafa's father with the help of Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind.

A wonderful tale to introduce a history unit on slavery. Students will connect emotionally with the father. The wonderful illustrations by Leo Leo Dillonand Diane Dillon Diane Dillonwill also be a welcome, familiar connectio...more
Audience: Although this book can be utilized with intermediate grades, I think it is best suited for a 3rd grade audience.

Appeal: Though some of the vocabulary used is slightly advanced, the structure makes the story seem easier to read. The story is also organized in a way that leaves the reader eager to see what happens next.

Application: I would use this book with a post-reading writing activity. I would pose the question to my students, “If you were taken from your family, what would your “go...more
Feb 10, 2012 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A beautiful mix of poetry and lyrics with art that is so engaging that it took my breath away. I'd recommend this book to older elementary school ages and to read Uncle Remus stories to go along with it (to explain the Br'er Rabbit reference.) A lovely and touching story about family!
Feb 11, 2012 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teachers to use during Black history month!
I'll admit that I didn't think McKissack had such a book in her. I was dubious when I realized the book had gotten the King award for authors, not for illustrators, but it turned out to be absolutely accurate. As amazing as the Dillons are, the text is much better! I read this quickly at work and didn't take time to reread it so I probably missed some particularly beautiful sentences. The one thing I DID do was ask Catalog to change this to J Fiction from E (picture books). There is too much tex...more
Never Forgotten is a moving and beautifully illustrated story of the slave trade and of family. The central characters are a widowed father and his son; when the boy is young he is stolen by slave traders and taken to America. Knowing only that he cannot find his son, the father searches desperately for him, assisted by Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind, but learns finally that his son has been taken to Charleston, South Carolina, and works as a blacksmith--just like his father in Africa. I loved how...more
Audience:P-2nd grade readers interested in African American history or just learning about it for the first time, those who like rhythmic and poetic books

Appeal: It has captivating illustrations and fun and rhythmic sound effects. It would be great read aloud and tells the story of the American slave trade from an original perspective. Many books about the slave trade focus on the plight of the slaves in America. This focuses on their origins.

2012 Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipient: Author...more
This story-in-poems celebrates family and the bond between father and son, even through peril and distance. The language and imagery are lovely, and I appreciate the tremendous hope with which it ends. Though the text is very well written, Leo & Diane Dillon's acrylic and watercolor illustrations are my favorite part of the book. I really love the thick, bold lines. They have the look of woodwork or carvings into metal, echoing the work of the blacksmiths Dinga and young Musafa, and are beau...more
I started out thinking that I had read this story before; that it was one of many accounts of Africans being stolen away from their homes and sold into slavery. However, author McKissack effectively revisits this history with her own blend of folklore and poetry, infusing the narrative with stories of the Elements called to action to try to save a lost son. The artwork by Leo and Diane Dillon also surprises, particularly in their whimsical characterizations of the four Elements. The story is a l...more
This is a powerful story-in-verse about what it might have been like for those grieving the slaves who were taken. The Dillons are at their best in this book and personified Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water amazingly. Frames around illustrations are never fully closed; the picture breaks out. Am I reading too much into this to say it symbolizes that the people are not forgotten, not left behind in a static picture frame? The Dillons never do anything haphazardly, so I'm sure there's significance the...more
Ms. Yingling
This picture book examines a little discussed topic in African-American history-- what did the people who were left behind do to remember the ones the people who were stolen for slavery? This picture book in verse follows the relationship between single father and blacksmith Dingo and his son Mustafa and gives an idea of what happened to Mustafa once he is taken and how his father deals with his departure. The folktale elements of the wind, water, fire and earth helping the two make this an inte...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
CSK Discussion 1 4 Dec 16, 2011 01:34AM  
  • The Great Migration: Journey to the North
  • Roots and Blues: A Celebration
  • Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom
  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
  • These Hands
  • Back of the Bus
  • A Storm Called Katrina
  • I, Too, Am America
  • The President's Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents
  • Belle, The Last Mule at Gee's Bend: A Civil Rights Story
  • Naamah and the Ark at Night
  • The Secret River
  • Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku
  • Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants
  • Lemonade: and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word
  • Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems
  • The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
  • Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein
A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859 (Dear America) Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919 (Dear America) The Clone Codes (The Clone Codes, #1) Goin' Someplace Special

Share This Book