Dominique's Reviews > Day of Tears

Day of Tears by Julius Lester
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Sep 05, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in September, 2010

This is a beautifully written story that depicts the horrors of slavery and the types of pain it has inflicted on the family structures of African Americans. As a mother, I cannot imagine the pain Mattie or Emma, as mother and daughter, may have felt knowing they may never see each other again. Julius Lester’s style of writing is unique in that we not only learn about the historical events but we are allowed to experience the largest slave auction in American history. The scenery and emotions of the slaves were so vividly described; I could see the emotionless faces of some slaves and feel the heaviness of the air weighed down with their anger, frustration and anxiety.

Lastly, the story was conveyed in written dialogue, which allowed us to get to know each character “personally”. We learned who the characters were through what they said and did, the same way we get to know people in real life. Unlike other fictional pieces I’ve read about slavery, this one offered the perspective of the slave seller, the master and his family. We were also able to see how the institution and aftermath of slavery affected their lives. Overall, I loved the book and can definitely see it being used in future lesson plans.
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