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A Change of Heart

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The remarkable story of honourary Newfoundlander Lanier Phillips, who survived a shipwreck during the Second World War and went on to become a civil rights activist. Told for children in this heartwarming, vibrantly illustrated picture book.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Nimbus Publishing
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Carla Johnson-Hicks
This children's book is an accounting of one man born black at the wrong time. Lanier Phillips was born in Georgia, USA while the Klu Klux Klan threatened any black person simply based on the colour of their skin. He lived through the Jim Crow era where segregation ran rampant, homes, schools and churches were burned and most black families struggled to survive. Lanier Phillips contemplated his existence and hoped that joining the navy when WWII broke out, would help him find equality. He was wr ...more
Alex  Baugh
This is the story of a young African American hero, Lanier Phillips, who survived the sinking of his ship, the USS Truxtun, caused by a storm off the coast of Newfoundland.

To help readers understand Lanier, Walsh begins his story with his childhood. He grew up in Georgia, in the 1930s, living under the constant threat of the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws. Watching the homes, schools, and barns of his black neighbors being burned to the ground, barred from enjoying the same privileges as white
Lara Maynard
Erin Bennett Banks’s illustrations are excellent. If the other aspects of the book were on par with the illustrations, this would be a solid five star book. But while this true story and the man at its center are remarkable, the writing is rather flat and there are design issues.

I’m not always a fan of subtitles, but this book and its cover beg for one to indicate that it is the true WWII-time story of Lanier Phillips, and to build on the rather cliched title. And from there, the text could use
The musical Come from Away tells the story of how, during 9/11, all flights that were in American airspace had to be diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. It tells how the people went out of their way to make everyone welcome.

I bring this up, because, in another time, World War II, but not in to far of another place, a ship load of sailors were washed ashore, and shown comfort and hospitality by the people of Newfoundland. And amongst those people was one black sailor, the only black sailor that su
This is one of the nominees for the non-fiction 2017 Hackmatack awards. It is a short picture book that can be used as a great springboard for historical discussions and it has a Newfoundland connection, which makes it even more interesting to me. :-)
Sarah Butland
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A brief but impactful glimpse of the horrifying experience of one man born at what seemed to be the wrong time.

Being born in Georgia, USA while the Klu Klux Klan threatened any black person simply based on the colour of their skin, Lanier Phillips contemplated his existence and what it all meant. Joining the navy in hopes of finding equality he was devastated to realize his horror continued. Phillips, among other black soldiers, were made to do grunt work and made to eat in a secluded area.

Jo Yhard
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and illustrated.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any hard topic in history is worthy of a children's book so that kids can begin to learn our past and learn from it. This picture book is one of those.

Following the life of Lanier Phillips, an African-American boy from the state of Georgia, A CHANGE OF HEART (author Alice Walsh) tells how his childhood experiences, knowledge, & fear played deeply in his thoughts & experiences as a growing man. Ultimately, those same shared fears worked to the demise of many of his fellow sailors, but for Lanier,
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This title is nominated for the 2018 Hackmatack Award in the non-fiction category.
'Change of Heart' tells the story of Lanier Phillips, an African American man from the Southern United States who joined the US Navy in the 1940s in hopes of escaping the racism and discrimination he experienced growing up. He was disappointed to discover that this way of thinking followed him onto the ship, with the African American sailors being forced to serve their white counterparts. One cold February night o
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An important story for children to learn about a civil rights activist in WWII. The illustrations were very good and the text was okay. I think this is an important story but worry it might not be "flashy" enough to get the attention of younger readers.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, biography
Picture book about an African American in 1941 who joins the Navy hoping to escape the racism and segregation that he experienced growing up in Georgia only to find the same treatment aboard his ship. Then after a shipwreck he discovers that people can be kind and people can be different.
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Maddie says the best part was when the people helped him.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story. Message of kindness was perfect for Random Acts of Kindness week.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great homage to what look like a great man and while briefly represent a part of the black history in America. All in simplicity but still quite deep. Well done!
Maya Norton
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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Margaret Cameron-ameen
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Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lanier Phillips grew up in a horrible time in the US. As a child he lived with the KKK on the attack, and as an adult longing to be free, he ended up instead a military serving boy. He had dire hopes for his country or ever doing what he truly wanted to do until a tragic shipwreck that claimed every other POC on board. Being stranded for a bit in Newfoundland made him realize that not everyone was biased against a colored man, and that he could be what he wanted to be, because caring people exis ...more
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Nov 29, 2016
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalleyarc
Change of Heart is a picture book based on a transformative experience in Lanier Phillips' life. I was unaware of Phillips before reading this picture book, but it's a good reminder of common experiences people of color have had (and sometimes continue to have) in the United States.

In 1930, Lanier was a black child in Georgia; readers will learn about what it was like to live in regular fear of the Ku Klux Klan and how Jim Crow laws kept races separated. Hatred and resentment festered inside Lan
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