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Papa's Free Day Party

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Johnnie wants to celebrate her Papa's birthday, but Papa doesn't know exactly when that special day is. Johnnie doesn't understand how that could be. Then she learns about Papa's childhood--how he built a new life in the all-Black town of Boley, Oklahoma. Inspired by her father's incredible story, Johnnie decides to throw Papa a different kind of party--one to recognize her father's day of freedom. Based on a true story about the author's grandfather, Papa's Free Day Party is a powerful celebration of storytelling, strength, and the importance of family.

32 pages, Hardcover

Published April 20, 2021

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About the author

Marilyn Nelson

62 books138 followers
Marilyn Nelson is the author of many acclaimed books for young people and adults, including CARVER: A LIFE IN POEMS, a Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and A WREATH FOR EMMETT TILL, a Printz Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She also translated THE LADDER, a picture book by Halfdan Rasmussen. She lives in East Haddam, Connecticut.

For more information, please see http://www.answers.com/topic/marilyn-...

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Elisabeth Ensor.
674 reviews30 followers
April 24, 2022
A very engaging story about a grandfather who doesn’t know his birthday so his family celebrates his freedom day from slavery instead! Loved the details about the peaches too
Profile Image for Laura.
2,765 reviews82 followers
May 7, 2021
The best fiction is based on fact, and the best historical fiction is based on personal family history. That is the case with this book, which is based on the family history of the authors grandfather. The crux of the story is that her grandfather had to escape from the KKK, shortly after the Civil War, and ended up on a white man's farm, who took him in and raised him to adulthood.

From there, we get the story that because he had to run away, and never found out what happened to his parents when their house was burned by the night raid of the Klan, he had no idea when his birthday was, but he knew that Free Day, when the Civil War ended, was important, and had chosen that day for his day.

The rest of the story, is in the back of the book, where we learn the the dependents still know the story, and have, since, kept in touch, off and on.

Good take on that time in American history.

Thanks to Edelweiss for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Karah.
Author 1 book19 followers
March 31, 2022
I want black children to embrace this book. In my generation, we embraced Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe. I feel this book could be adored in the same fashion. This book treats the absence of identity faced by a black man born during the Reconstruction with tenderness. I implore black parents (and other groups,too) to place this book in direct proximity to their children.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
10.2k reviews94 followers
October 4, 2021
This is a unique and touching book, filled with history and the love a family has for each other. The book's conclusion gives more background information on the real-life inspiration for the stories and presents vintage photos.
Profile Image for Patricia Kaniasty.
1,489 reviews53 followers
April 4, 2022
Great story. Loved the history it taught while still telling an interesting story. Picture were very nice. However, this is meant for an older child. Might be hard for a younger child to understand.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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