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Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  351 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Grab your lantern and follow the remarkable and world-famous Mammoth Cave explorer—and slave—Stephen Bishop as he guides you through the world’s largest cave system in this remarkable homage to the resilience of human nature.

Welcome to Mammoth Cave. It’s 1840 and my name’s Stephen Bishop. I’ll be your guide, so come with me, by the light of my lantern, into the deepest big
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  351 ratings  ·  185 reviews


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QNPoohBear
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a speculative story about Stephen Bishop, an enslaved man who led tours of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky in the antebellum period. This story is beautiful! It's about a MAN who claims his humanity through his work as a cave explorer despite being enslaved. I loved how the author gave a different side to the usual story about slavery. It covers race laws in 1840 and what a slave is in a way that is accessible to young readers. The illustrations are done in collage form that make the scenes pop ...more
Heidi
In a book that is both beautifully illustrated and lyrically written, the reader is introduced to Stephen Bishop. Like all too many slaves there isn't a lot known about the man, but what is known forms the foundation for this fictionalized biography. With so many gaps in the knowledge about Bishop, the author has had to fill in some of those gaps with imagined thoughts and feelings. The story is told from Bishop's perspective and gives young readers a glimpse into what it may have been like to b ...more
Jim
W O W

6 star book

Every word, every picture is perfect. This isn't a verse novel or story, but every line reads like it is meant to be read aloud. I didn't know caving had been around in the US as early as the 1820s or that slaves were often the guides.

i'm saving this book to reread and to learn how to write from.
Jacob
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well illustrated and thoughtfully done.
Kid Lit Reviews
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reviews, 2016
The Story of Stephen Bishop tells the true story of a slave entrusted to learn the passageways underneath Mammoth Caves. Bishop learned the trails and the rivers better than most. He then led others, many who came from thousands of miles away, under the caves, through the passageways, and then safely back out again. Bishop takes readers through the caves, retelling his life as we walk the passageways under the earth.

Collier’s collage illustrations show the darkness of the cave system Bishop spea
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Tasha
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stephen Bishop was a slave who explored and mapped Mammoth Cave. The book is set in 1840 where you can follow the light of Bishop’s lantern deep into the massive cave as he gives people and the reader a tour. For the reader though, the tour is about slavery, about civil rights and about the ability for a man to discover value through exploring darkness. Bishop was the first to see many of Mammoth’s sights, including the blind fish. He learned to read as people signed their names on the cave’s ce ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Henson, Heather Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer, Illustrated by Collier, Bryan. PICTURE BOOK. Caitlyn Dlouhy Book (Aheneum), 2016. $17.99. Content: G
The story of Stephen Bishop who lived in the mid 1800’s as a slave in the state of Kentucky. His main job was to explore and then give guided tours of the Mammoth Cave system. He was well known for his accomplishments and discoveries. His name is still there today, written in his own handwriting.
This is a
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Samantha
Take a historic tour through Mammoth Cave with famous guide Stephen Bishop as he introduces readers to what little is known of his life and his legacy.

Text is poetic and does a great job of incorporating the author's research of Bishop's life while exciting readers about the time period and the setting. The pacing gives readers an armchair tour which makes this a good read aloud.

Watercolor and collage illustrations are beautiful and offer some truly unique views of the beauty of this national p
...more
Ashtin Flener
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ky-authors
When I discovered that this book was about Mammoth Cave and the early explorations of the cave, I was very excited. In the book, Lift Your Light a Little Higher, Heather Henson tells the somewhat untold story of Stephen Bishop, a slave from the 1800's, who was ordered to learn the ins and outs of the cave. This story is told from the perspective of Stephen Bishop himself- throughout the story he explains that as a slave he was forced to do many things, but explains how he chose to make the best ...more
Jill
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book, subtitled “The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer” has an intriguing beginning that pulls the reader in right away:

“The year is 1840, give or take. The color of my skin is black. The name I’m called is Guide. My home is in Kentucky, fifteenth state of the Union, though I am known beyond this place. I am famous far and wide - across the great ocean itself. Why, even the Queen of England knows who I am, they say.

But being known is not the same as being free, no sir. Famous or not,
...more
Ali
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Lift Your Light a Little Higher" by Heather Henson is a thoughtfully written and illustrated children's book about a man named Stephen Bishop who was a slave in Kentucky during the later 1800s. The book is told from Bishop's point of view and talks about his time as a slave and his work as a cave guide. It is through his work in Mammoth cave, that he finds himself and a purpose for his life despite his hardships as a slave. The story is more serious for a children's novel but works excellently ...more
Corinne Gause
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ky-authors
At first glance, the cover of the books is intriguing. However, it is a very cool surprise when you take off the hardback sleeve and find a different cover picture. This can be helpful when creating a lesson with the book or reading it aloud to a class. Using the alternate pictures can help to teach the students and children how to predict what may happen. This book is about a man named Stephen Bishop who is a guide through the Mammoth Cave with slaves. The book is written in the first person wh ...more
David Brown
Heather Henson’s Lift Your Light a Little Higher tells the story of Stephen Bishop who was an African American guide at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky circa 1840. The story is told in the first person as if Bishop were alive today sharing his experience with us. Through Henson Bishop shares with the reader the undiluted and embarrassing truth of slavery in Kentucky during his lifetime. Bishop explains how he learned to read and write even though it was illegal for him to learn or for anyone to teach h ...more
Abbey Norton
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ky-authors
Lift Your Light A Little Higher is the story of a slave named Stephen who worked in a cave in around 1840. The book tells the story of how he became well known for giving guided tours of an unnamed cave, which we learn is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. He learned how to read and write names through helping people write with candles. I think this book would work best in a fourth or fifth grade classroom. There are a decent amount of words per page and I’m not sure younger kids would really be able to ...more
Ally Ferring
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ky-authors
Lift Your Light a Little Higher is an inspiring picture book written by Heather Henson. This picture book tells the story of Stephen Bishop, a slave back in the 1800's, who was a well-known Mammoth Cave guide. Being a guide taught him many things, such as how to read and write, through people candle-writing their names on the ceiling of the cave, which led him to write his own name on the ceiling. He also figures out that others discovered the cave before the pioneers. Stephen mentions that his ...more
Caroline Ackerman
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ky-authors
Henson's "Lift Your Light a Little Higher" is a gorgeously and lovingly crafted book about Stephen Bishop, a slave who worked in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave system. Stephen is a guide, leading tourists through the caves, and he speaks to the reader as if they are going along on a tour with him. He takes us to the wall where people write their names with candles on the stone, and tells us how he learned from them how to write his own name, and later his wife's. He shows us a hidden stream where he's ...more
Maria Mascalco
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ky-author-books
Lift Your Light a Little Higher was an amazing book that beautifully told and showed the life of Stephen Bishop. The author told an amazing story about a man, whom we have few details on. She recounted his life in a way that seemed true to his story, yet also took some imaginative liberty that gave him a strong and distinct voice. This is shown in the book when the author, speaking as Stephen says, "Is that what you want to know? Why is it against the law to teach me letters?" The message is imp ...more
Sara Stelmach
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ky-authors
The historical based picture book “Lift Your Light a Little Higher” by Heather Hensen is riveting. It is a story that mixes factual history with an insightful story of the tours given by Stephen Bishop or “Guide” in Mammoth Cave. The story takes you on a tour of the cave and a tour of Stephens life as a slave including his family. In this story there are multiple sentences that have a very impactful double meaning regarding a slave’s life and the journey through the cave. The book touches on sla ...more
GwendeLynn
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Heather Henson did a great job with this book. I love the way the main character Stephen (Bishop) told his story through a narrative. I actually felt like he was talking to me face to face. I enjoyed how he described being a guide, teaching people how to use aa candle to mark their journey, and seeing the Crawdads in Mammoth cave. I also enjoyed how it leads way into making inferences about the Native Americans and Pioneers exploring the cave way before people started paying to come and explore ...more
Lindsay Leighton
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kentucky-authors
Heather Henson’s book, Lift Your Light a Little Higher, is a picture book made for children to understand the basics of what our world was like during a time of slavery. The main character, an African American slave known as Guide, tells his story through first-person narrative so children can fully grasp the realities of our society during such a different era. The book touches on the journey that “Guide” goes through, including having to navigate people through the caves and his yearning to le ...more
Marc Blunk
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Picture Storybook - KY authors
Lift Your Light a Little Higher - the story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-explorer by Heather Henson, Illustrations by Bryan Collier.

The Illustrations are beautifully and meticulously crafted. The cover features our main character of the story brandishing a lantern. The back of the jacket shows our hero lighting up a cave with his lantern. The cover is different than the book jacket and features a simple lantern with beautiful neutral and deep colors. The end pages are
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Isabelle
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ky-authors
This is a beautifully rich story about Kentucky's Mammoth Cave and, more importantly, its first explorer and cartographer, Stephen Bishop. I deeply appreciated how Heather Henson, the author, didn't miss a single opportunity to emphasize Bishop's extraordinary accomplishments in conjunction with his oppression as a slave. Very rarely do children's books so holistically portray the real, lived tragedy of slavery; this is still very much is a story of achievement and discovery, but it is also a st ...more
Leah Grant
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ky-author
"Lift Your Light a Little Higher" by Heather Henson, explores African American history and the part it played during the earlier years of mammoth cave. Stephen Bishop, a mammoth cave tour guide, is a slave. He explains all of the facts he knows from exploring the underground passageways as a young boy to the white tourists that pay to explore the caves. Bishop became well known for his knowledge of the caves, he mentions that even the Queen of England knows who he is allegedly. Despite the law s ...more
Mattison Bingham
"But being known is not the same as being free, no sir... it is against the law to teach me to read and write." When I read this sentence in the book, I was overwhelmed with different emotions. As a young fortunate adult with a college education, I can't imagine not being able to read. Even worse, I can't imagine to not even be given the opportunity to have an education. With that being said, I found myself intrigued in the story of Stephen Bishop. Lift Your Light a Little Higher takes readers o ...more
Michael Lausche
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ky-author-books
This is an inspiring story about an African American man named Stephen Bishop, who is a a tour guide for the wonders of Mammoth Cave, Ky. The time period of this story is set in 1840, where slavery is still around. Stephen Bishop is a slave, but he has much more to tell you about who he is, and how he is more than than "just a slave". The author does a great job with telling the reader what Bishop does as a guide. He was brought to Mammoth Cave as a child by his master, and was told to find the ...more
Jessica Emly
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kentucky-authors
Lift Your Light a Little Higher, by Heather Henson, tells the story of slave Stephen Bishop, who was entrusted by his slavemaster with the task of exploring Mammoth Cave. Stephen came to make many discoveries within the walls of the cave system and went on to guide many people through the caves. On these guided tours, many of the "fine people," as Stephen describes them, would want to leave their mark in the cave. Stephen shows them how to "write" with a candle on the walls of the cave, and alth ...more
Molly Walker
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ky-authors
Lift your Light a Little Higher written by Heather is a wonder written book about a young boy named Stephen who is a slave in the 1840s. This was very interesting to read, very different from any other slave book out there. Stephen does not know how to read or write because it's forbidden by his owners, and he just doesn't understand why that is. While traveling through Mammoth Cave Stephen sees all these letter written on the walls of the cave and soon learns how to write his own name for the v ...more
Sarah Kahleifeh
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ky-authors
Lift Your Light a Little Higher is a truly revealing and truthful story that should be read by students everywhere. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of Stephen, a man who was a slave. He tells the story of his time during slavery in the setting of the “cave”, and how he can lead people through these times and his journey. He knows the difference between being known and being free, and even compares himself to an ox, since they are both sold by men. He describes how people who are black are ...more
Jessica
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lis-510-complete
Lift Your Light a Little Higher was a wonderful book, that even as an adult reader, moved me in an unexpected way. The book is written as an autobiography of Stephen Bishop, who was a tour guide of Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. He was a slave and, as the book describes, was bought and sold along with the cave itself. The book is written in a unique way, narrated by Stephen so that you follow him along his story, just as he might lead you through the cave system. Details of his life are illuminated wi ...more
Alexandra Stoencheva
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ky-authors
"Lift Your Light a Little Higher" is the story of Stephen Bishop. He became a slave at a very young age and spent almost his entire life in slavery. This book tells his story of the years he spent giving tours of Mammoth Cave. The story begins by Stephen explaining what it means to be a slave. He explains that he can not read or write, he is not allowed to learn to do this, and he is not a free man. Although he has lived such a hard life, Stephen also tells the parts of his life that he enjoyed. ...more
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