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Never Forgotten

(Junior Library Guild Selection )

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  530 ratings  ·  131 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-
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  530 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Ruben (BooksVlogs) Arauz
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Sé que el libro no es lo mejor del mundo para que se gane 5 estrellas, pero es mi reseña así que #YOLO, es una maravillosa obra de arte, esta preciosura es una completa maravilla😻, me encanta el tono sutil que puso la autora a la narrativa, un libro lleno de poemas hermosos que te llegan a tocar el corazón, aunque lo tengas tan negro como Boricua en Carnavales, cómprenlo, léanlo y ámenlo💖
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written story about one man's loss of his son to slavery. It shows the hurt, sorrow, and despair. Everyone should read it. Beautifully illustrated, this will tear at your heartstrings, and show you how important it is to never forget.
Margo Tanenbaum
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Patricia C McKissack was inspired to write this book in response to the question that haunts African Americans, the descendants of the "The Taken,"-- "Were we missed?"

This beautiful book, told in verse, is the story of a father mourning and searching for his son who was taken by slave traders. McKissack blends the story-telling styles of different African tribes with the legends of the Caribbean slaves to create a haunting tale. In addition, the artwork is absolutely stunning.

This book would be
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Morgan Jones
This book is a collection of poems about slavery. It tells the story of a young boy who was captured in Africa and enslaved in America during 1725. It is told from the point of view of the father and shows many emotions walking through the story. This book is important to children's literature because it is a part of history that can not be forgotten. the illustrations are very deep water colors.

I gave this book 5 stars because it is a very important topic that is portrayed in a different manne
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Debra Wake
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Ashley Gregory
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
RLL 520 Sharonda Kimbrough
This was an amazing story. The author uses what some would consider poetry to tell the story of a person taken captive and sold into slavery. Although the words don't rhyme, the way in which the story is presented makes each page look like a short poem. The illustrations are colorful and vibrant and clearly illustrate the words written on the pages. This book would be a great way to introduce the topic of slavery either during black history month or in a regular history class. The images are sur ...more
Edward Sullivan
A stunning, profoundly moving collaboration between a superb writer and two amazingly gifted artists.
Lauren Perlstein
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Copyright Date: 2011

Estimate of age level of interest: Grade 3-Grade 7

Estimate of reading level: Grade 5

Brief description: A series of poems that describe the African slave trade through a story about a father whose son was taken by Europeans, sold into slavery, and the journey to find him.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book:
Poetry creates sensory images of sight, touch, smell, or taste: The poetry/verse along with the illustrat
Dixie Keyes
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most provocative, deep book about the one African family's tragic experience with slavery that I've picture book form. Rips apart any form of glossing over the kidnapping of people from their homes to serve the greed of America in that time period. The elements of nature played a role in seeking Mufasa after he had been taken, and the legend of the African blacksmiths and how they spoke to wind, fire, earth, and water takes us into the culture that comforted them and brou ...more
Olivia Pollari
This book is an African culture based book filled with poems/stories by loved ones who will never be forgotten when we continue to tell their stories. It starts out in the year 1725 when the hundreds and thousands of Africans were stolen for slaves. When I read this first story I felt empathy for them, made me sad. The books end its a story based on today reflecting on the rest of the book and ending on a positive note. overall, it was interesting to read to learn more about African culture and ...more
Amanda Quinn
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, ed-230
Most stories that talk about slavery start with the arrival of African's to America, or briefly mention their capture. I loved that half of this story took place in Africa (Mali) and that their culture was essential to the story. It's an excellent reminder that people had lives and beliefs and families and love before they arrived on our shores. The language and art was beautiful and I loved that the story was told through poetry. I will definitely be purchasing this book
Matthew Hunter
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations and poetry. Never Forgotten’s about a child caught up in the slave trade between Africa and the United States, so don’t pick it up for you and/or your kids unless you’re willing to sacrifice your mental ease for the broadening of young minds. It’s pretty damn awesome.
Nicholas Clinch
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: year-1, to-reread
These poems were a gentle, hauntingly vivid first reading for some tender hearted boys who ache at the thought of Musafa's story. Upon narrating, they compared him to Telemachus who honored his father's memory long after others had given up. They especially latched onto the strength of the four Mother Elements, who reminded us of Athena. Both the prose & illustration line work lit up their imaginations toward empathy; well done!
Haowei Zhu
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The young boy kidnapped and sold in to slavery, the father loss his son. The illustration in this book are really beautiful but the story is really sad. When I read this books at first, I felt it like a poem. The author used different colors of background image to express the different feelings. The pain, lament and hopelessness.

Judy Atterholt
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is a moving narrative poem with spectacular artwork about the lives of a blacksmith, Dinga and his son, Musafa, who is stolen from his home in western Africa and sold into slavery across the sea. It's also a story of survival--both of the individuals, and of their culture. The themes and artistry are both sophisticated and accessible for school-age children to adults.
Kim. E.
There are many books written about the slave trade out of Africa, but this one focused less on the young man that was taken away and instead on the effect this loss has on the father left behind in Africa. An incredible book for children.
Cole Williams
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Great background story for how this idea came about, I love that.
The images are great and the story is full and descriptive.
Jennifer Heise
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book, with a folk-like story, imagining how the families left in Africa would have remembered those who were stolen as part of the slave trade(s).
Joanne Roberts
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful words and pictures work together to compose a stunning picture storybook in the oral tradition of Mali, West Africa. The new folktale uses 21 poems and paintings to tell the story of a boy kidnapped into slavery and shipped to the Caribbean, and how his father enlists the help of the elements to bring him news of his son.
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
1. Text to Text: Never Forgotten explains how Dinga, a blacksmith, lost his wife during child birth and raises his son, Musafa, with the help of the Mother Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Wind. When Musafa is a preteen boy he is captured by slave traders and taken to America. All Mother elements try to save Musafa and return him safely home, but none of them succeed as planned. Anyway, the story reminded me of a Wishbone episode I saw when I was little based on The People Could Fly which was about ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: infm-208
Dinga is a Mende blacksmith who was praised by all the villagers as a master craftsman and artisan. He was known best however, for being a loving father. After his wife dies giving birth to their son, he asks the Mother Elements to help him in his son’s upbringing. They name him Musafa and Dinga does well at raising him. Musafa becomes Dinga’s blacksmith apprentice and one day goes missing. The Mother Elements do some investigating as to what happened to Musafa and they learn that he was capture ...more
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CSK Discussion 1 4 Dec 15, 2011 04:34PM  

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Patricia C. McKissack was the Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of The Dark-Thirty and Porch Lies an ALA Notable Book. She collaborated with Jerry Pinkney on Goin' Someplace Special (Coretta Scott King Award winner) and Mirandy and Brother Wind (Coretta Scott King Award winner and Caldecott Honor Book).

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