L11_Ryanne Szydlik's Reviews > The Middle Passage: White Ships/ Black Cargo

The Middle Passage by Tom Feelings
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's review
Mar 17, 11

bookshelves: picture-books

"If the Atlantic were to dry up, it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones, African bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage." In the introduction of this heart wrenching book written by Tom Feelings, Dr. John Henrik Clarke tries to describe the amount of African people whom lost their lives during the African Trade Slave led by many European countries.

The path to the Americas was a dangerous journey for many, but not as sickening as it was for African men, women, and children. Through Tom Feeling's wordless illustrations crafted from pen, ink, and tempera it tells the story of African people being ripped from the sunny shores of their homeland and sent to rot on the dark shores of North and South America.

Delicately drawn and constructed using white, black, and gray tones, the reader feels the pain, anger, and tragedy that the people had to endure. This is a picture book that is appropriate for older audiences, possibly beginning at a high school level. Before jumping right into the illustrations, there should be research done to build knowledge about the journey that the people had to go through. This is essential so older children can truly understand the cruelness and wrong doing that happened upon the African people.

This is the most powerful Multi-cultural picture books I have read in a long time.
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Ruth Thank you for sharing this book in class. I appreciated your review, particularly the recommendation to help build background knowledge prior to reading/telling.

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