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Freedom Soup

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  596 ratings  ·  132 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 Revolutio
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 10th 2019 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  596 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
The story of the Haitian Revolution is remembered and celebrated with Freedom Soup - recipe in the back of the book!
As a child and her Grandmother gather in the kitchen making soup, freedom soup. Her Grandmother asks her they called it that, then they proceed to talk about the history of her people, the Haitians and their revolution from slavery to freedom. All while dancing to music and preparing the meal.

This book teaches about history and traditions. The learning and making of the soup are past down from one generation to the next.

May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: haiti
There is joy, dancing, and music on New Year’s Day as Ti Gran teaches her granddaughter Belle how to make Freedom Soup. The colorful images and words vibrate as Ti Gran recounts how her people in Haiti rebelled against the slave owners. Freedom Soup or Soup Joumou celebrates the revolution and Haiti’s independence every generation thereafter. A marvelous gem of Haiti’s heritage. Enjoy the recipe. Bon appétit!
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 begi
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.
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.
Shannon (That's So Poe)
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
I loved how this talked about the connection between food, family, and history. At times it went into a few too many details about the food or the history, but it had a lot of fascinating information. The artwork had a ton of movement to it that makes you really feel the story.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read, cook, dance, eat, dance more! This is definitely not bedtime reading!
Amanda Geske
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
"Together, we mash the garlicky herbs to the kompa beat."

This one is a rare perfect balance of gorgeous illustrations and a rolling story that makes you feel lucky to be in the kitchen with Belle and her grandma.
Christie Angleton
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
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. ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, black
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.
Mary Lee
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, picture-book, food
The story of Haitian Freedom soup. (yum)
Brenda Kahn
What an exuberant lovely celebration of tradition and intergenerational love. Gorgeously illustrated and beautifully written.
Ruth Quiroa
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This first-person narrative recounts the New Year's Day that little Belle learns how to make Freedom Soup with her beloved Ti Gran in a cold, snowy urban locale. However, it not only tells this present-day story but also one of the past through author Tami Charles’s story frame device and illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara’s symbolism, based on the work of the French artist, Paul Gauguin. This artistic style allowed Honduran American Alcántara to depict "the relationship between the characters in ...more
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
This book was such a sweet book to read about a traditional Haitian dish called Freedom Soup. The story follows a young girl Belle and her grandma on New Years Day as she learns for the first time how to make this famous Haitian recipe. Each step of the process is full of fun lyrical texts and lively illustrations to match the excitement of the cooking and it leaves the reader in a festive mood. While entertaining to read, Freedom Soup the book is also informative, sharing the story of Haitian i ...more
Tara Smallwood
Freedom Soup is a must read. It is on the list of must read books. This tale takes the reader on a journey back to the Hatti revolution. A mother explains to her daughter the history regarding the soups they eat every year and how during slavery their people were only able to make soup and serve it. They weren't allowed to eat it. After their people fight and obtain their freedom, they eat soup as a symbol of remembrance of their history. This story is easy to relate to being an African America ...more
This is a well done culture and history story for the primary grades about the revolution freeing slaves in 1791. This Freedom Day is observed by making soup. As the grandmother interacts with the granddaughter one sees the love and joy they share together and it is this warmth and act of sharing time together that make this story accessible and appropriate for children in the primary grades.
Included is a recipe for freedom soup which uses butternut squash and not pumpkin. Looks delicious. All p
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. ...more
Connie T.
Lively, vivid illustrations bring this story to life! As a blizzard rages outside, a young girl and her Haitian grandmother make a pot of freedom soup to celebrate the new year and Haiti's independence. We see joy, love, and time honored traditions as the grandmother retells the story of Haiti's struggles and the history of the soup. The story ends with the extended family coming together for soup and celebration. An author note and recipe round out the offering. ...more
Cooking w your gran is a beautiful thing. Throw in learning about your family history and a holiday gathering and you get a sense of the joy this story and these illustrations impart. Back material includes a recipe for the soup, and more about the Haitian Revolution and the author’s connection to this history and tradition.
Read to me by my librarian daughter.
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
“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.”
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.
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.
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 smell ...more
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.
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  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
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