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Freedom Soup

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Join the celebration in the kitchen as a family makes their traditional New Year's soup -- and shares the story of how Haitian independence came to be.

The shake-shake of maracas vibrates down to my toes.
Ti Gran's feet tap-tap to the rhythm.

Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 10th 2019 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous! Exuberant story of a family tradition and Haitian history and even includes a recipe! This one makes readers want to dance and cook.
Alex  Baugh
It's a cold, snowy day outside, but inside Ti Gran's kitchen, it is warm and busy. As the beats of traditional Haitian kompa music and dancing fills the kitchen, so does the aroma of traditional Haitian Freedom Soup. And today, Belle, who "has a heart made for cooking," is getting her first lesson on how to prepare her Ti Gran's secret recipe for this celebrated New Year's Day soup.

And as they mash the epis and the herbs, add the meat, the pumpkin, and the vegetables into a big pot, Ti Gran
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Lots of action and vibrant color as a grandma and her young granddaughter prepare Freedom Soup and share a story about its history in celebrating Haitian independence. I learned something and you might, too! I liked that there was a recipe in the back, and I really liked that the author suggested that you can leave out the meat and it works as a vegetarian soup. I think I'll make it with seitan or one of the many brands of vegan chik'n strips available on the market.
Donna Merritt
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations by Jacqueline Alcantara and poetic text by Tami Charles tell the story of the slave rebellion in Haiti and the annual New Year's Day celebration with freedom soup. Bonus: There is an author's note with background info on the Haitian Revolution and a recipe for the soup. In addition to its historical significance, this is a sweet story about family as Ti Gran passes on this cultural tradition to her granddaughter Belle.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The best picture books take big ideas and make them fit between their pages, this one does that marvelously. Dynamic, colorful illustrations and a cozy family story frame the history of Haiti with slavery and revolution presented in simple, straightforward ways that make sense to kids without losing depth. Highly recommended for kids ages 5-9.
Mary Lee
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, food, picture-book
The story of Haitian Freedom soup. (yum)
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This lyrical book tells the story of a girl and her grandma, Ti Gran, fixing a stew called Freedom Soup. This dish is commonly eaten in Haitian households at celebrations for the New Year to commemorate the end of slavery. Ti-Gran tells Belle that slaves had to make the soup for their masters, but never got to eat it themselves until they were free. As the author explains in a note at the end of the story:

“My husband’s late grandmother, Ti Gran, gave me my first bowl of Freedom Soup, also known
Christina Carter
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-excursion
Note: Review of Advance Reader Copy from Candlewick Press | Book releases 12/10/19

Cooking from the heart is an act of love, a gift when shared with family. Sharing long-treasured recipes with loved ones preserves traditions and gives them new life in the young ones who learn underneath our wings. That's what makes this year so special for Belle. This is the year that Ti Gran is going to show her how to make Freedom Soup, an important dish to celebrate Haitian Independence Day. It is their
Belle learns how to make Freedom Soup from her Ti Gran, a Haitian immigrant. She also hears the story behind the dish, the emancipation of native Haitians from slavery. The back has a recipe for the soup, and an author's note about the first time she had Freedom Soup. The characters have such movement, from their hair down to their toes as they strike poses and dance about the kitchen making their family's recipe. It's a fun, informative book.

It would be a great storytime read with Fry Bread: A
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In twelve days on December 31, 2019 at midnight, this decade will come to a close. To say the world and its inhabitants have seen monumental changes in these ten years is truly an understatement. From the individual to the global level and everything in-between, there have been heartbreaking setbacks and soul-soaring achievements, great sadness and glorious happiness.

A new year is a time to remember, reflect and refine. It is a time to honor the past and embrace the future. Freedom Soup
Age: Kindergarten-2nd grade
Food: Soup, fresh vegetables
Identity: Haitian American
Identity, author: African American
Identity, illustrator: Latina American

Ti Gran and her granddaughter prepare their annual Freedom Soup while remembering the history of the Haitian Revolution. Alcantara provides vibrant golds and blues and celebratory dancing and joyfulness throughout. Much of the story is based around a modern-day family celebration, but the whole historical picture is included. A pause in the
I wish I would have read this book before New Year's Day, as the story of a grandmother showing her granddaughter how to make the traditional Freedom Soup from Haiti made my mouth water to try making this for my own celebration. Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make this soup that was integral to the Haitian Revolution. The story of the soup is also the story of the history of Haiti. I love the way the engaging narrative text along with the vibrant illustrations brings alive the music, the ...more
Tami Charles tells this story of the 'freedom soup' tradition on New Year's Day in Haiti, shared with her by her husband's Ti Gran. After fighting for twelve years, Haitian freedom happened on January 1st, 1804! Together, young Belle and her Ti Gran dance through the time making freedom soup, a tradition followed by Haitians every January first. Jacqueline Alcántara's illustrations fill the pages with the beat of freedom as they prepare the soup. Colorful and filled with joy on every face, it's ...more
A book which thoughtfully combines a tale of a child cooking with her grandmother and the history of the Haitian revolution. The historical narrative is simplified for the understanding of young listeners who may not have enough background knowledge to comprehend an in-depth historical account, while at the same time not eliding or obscuring the reality of slavery. A joyous, exuberantly illustrated tale of cooking, dancing, and celebrating hard won freedoms.

Themes: Freedom, Revolution, New
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Freedom Soup is a lovely picture book about a girl and her Haitian grandmother sharing a New Year's tradition of making Freedom Soup. While they prepare the ingredients, they dance to the kompa beat, and the girl's grandmother tells the story of Haiti's former slaves who once made the soup for their masters, rebelled, and gained freedom for themselves. The weaving of the story with the loving kitchen scene, the vibrant illustrations, and the lyrical language make this a wonderful read.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I loved everything about this bright, vibrant, hopeful, beautiful book! A grandmother is sharing a beloved family recipe celebrating the Haitian New Year and while they cook together, they dance and celebrate and the grandmother shares the beautiful story behind the traditions. This is so well-done and fun to read.
“Nothing in this world is free, not even freedom.”

A young girl helps her grandmother prepare Freedom Soup and learns about her cultural history in Haiti and the importance of freedom and family.

It includes a recipe for Freedom Soup and an author’s note about the Haitian Revolution, “the most successful slave rebellion in the Western Hemisphere.”
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-harder-2020
Freedom Soup is a great celebration of continuing family traditions. Ti Gran teaches Belle how to make Freedom Soup, and the story of Haiti's revolution behind the dish. The illustrations really bring this story to life, and the recipe in the back allows readers to try it for themselves, which is excellent because this book will make you hungry!
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Traditions give us roots and wings. Stories ground us in who we are. This simple story of a grandmother conveying heritage to her granddaughter as they make a traditional Haitian soup to celebrate Freedom Day, New Year’s Day, captures both in a way that should make everyone want to know more about where they and those they know came from.
This story shares the history and family traditions behind the celebration of Haitian Independence Day and the making and eating of Freedom Soup also known as Soup Joumou by Haitians all over the world. It tells of the most successful slave revolt for freedom the world has known, and shares the recipe for the soup at the end of the book.
Beautifully illustrated book about a soup called Freedom Soup. A Haitian soup that used to be made by slaves who were banned from eating it. The book talks about grandma making the soup at New Year’s, and tells the story of the soup and the Haitian people. Very well told, appropriate read for younger people.
Kim Chaffee
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book spotlights the important history behind Freedom Soup- the story of how Haitian independence came to be. The reader is taken on a journey into the past while Ti Gran and her granddaughter, Belle, dance and prepare the traditional meal. Told in lyrical, tap-your-toes text and complete with an author’s note and recipe, FREEDOM SOUP is an important story for all readers to experience.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great book! I had already known about the Haitian Revolution but I had never knew about Freedom Soup. I learned something and this was a great story. Also I loved the illustrations. They were so vibrant and colorful.
Nadia L. Hohn
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun story about this historic Haitian soup. I am glad there is a picture book about it. I have traditionally made this soup with my French students for a few years now. Also the pumpkin/squash used is the same used in Jamaican soup too.
A wonderful, vibrant picture book that celebrates the relationship between granddaughter and grandmother, a celebration of Haitian culture, and a bit of history, too. Included the recipe for Freedom Soup. Terrific!
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Freedom Soup is a beautiful celebration of the history of Haitian freedom, family, and tradition. Together, author Tami Charles and illustrator Jacqueline Alcantara create a joyful, exuberant story bursting with warm storytelling, powerful history, and gorgeously colored, kinetic illustrations.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Colorful, thoughtful, inspirational and a recipe at the end.
3 1/2 stars
I want to try this soup; sounds delicious. Love the love showered throughout this story and the heritage passed down from generation to generation.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the illustration, The movement of the little girl is so cute.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

the story was okay, but i didn't care for the illustrations much. i thought they were low key ugly. great colors though. quite vibrant. loved the recipe at the back of the book.
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