They Call Me Teach: Lessons in Freedom (Hardcover)

They Call Me Teach: Lessons in Freedom By Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (Illustrator) Cover Image

They Call Me Teach: Lessons in Freedom (Hardcover)


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In this stirring and powerfully illustrated story, an enslaved young man uses his ability to read and write to educate others in the pursuit of freedom.

Back inside the store
I write up receipts
for Master’s deliveries
for Master’s orders
In ’tween
I write up a receipt

for her freedom

The young man known as Teach secretly learned to read, write, and use numbers growing up alongside the master’s son. And although on this Southern plantation these are skills he can never flaunt, Teach doesn’t keep them to himself: In the course of a week, he’ll teach little ones the alphabet in the corner stall of a stable and hold a moonlit session where men scratch letters in the dirt. He’ll decipher a discarded letter bearing news of Yankee soldiers and forge a pass for a woman hoping to buy precious time on a perilous journey north. And come Sunday, Teach will cross the swamp to a hidden cabin, reading aloud to the congregation God’s immortal words to the pharaoh: Let my people go. With a spare, moving first-person narration told in an era-appropriate dialect, complemented by stunning watercolor illustrations, the celebrated duo of Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome honor the bravery and generosity of spirit behind countless untold acts of resistance during the time of slavery. An author’s note highlights the vital role of literacy and education toward the securing of freedom, both historically and to the present day.
Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of many books for children, including the novel Finding Langston, which was a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book and winner of a Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and the picture book Before She Was Harriet, illustrated by James E. Ransome, which was a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, a Christopher Award winner, and a Jane Addams Honor Book. Lesa Cline-Ransome lives with her husband, illustrator James E. Ransome, in the Hudson Valley region of New York.

James E. Ransome, the 2023 winner of the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including Granddaddy’s Turn and Northbound, both by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein, as well as The Creation, written by James Weldon Johnson, for which he won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. James E. Ransome lives with his wife, Lesa Cline-Ransome, in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9780763681555
ISBN-10: 0763681555
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: September 24th, 2024
Pages: 40
Language: English