Cover image for The listeners
Title:
The listeners
ISBN:
9781585364190
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Chelsea, MI : Sleeping Bear Press, 2009.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Added Author:
Summary:
After a day of picking cotton in late 1860, Ella May, a young slave, joins her friends Bobby and Sue at their second job of listening outside the windows of their master's house for useful information.
Holds:

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Ella May lives on a plantation but she doesn'tlive in the great house. She is a slave.It's dark in the morning when Ella May heads to the fieldsto pick cotton. And it's sunset when she comes home. Buther day isn't done, not yet.Ella May still has important work to do. She's got to listen.Each night Ella May and her friends secretly listen outsidethe windows of their master's house. The children listenin the hopes of gleaning information about their fates andthose of their loved ones. Who will be sold? Who will stay?The lives of slaves depended on the inclinations of theirowners. They had no control over their daily lives orfutures. But they could dream.And when the promise of freedom appears on the horizon,the children are the first to hear it.Gloria Whelan's other titles in the Tales of Young Americans series includeFriend on Freedom River (Jefferson Cup honor book) and MackinacBridge: The Story of the Five-Mile Poem (2007 Michigan Notable Book).Ms. Whelan lives in Michigan.Mike Benny's illustrations have appeared in Time, GQ, and The NewYorker magazines. His awards include three gold and two silver medalsfrom the Society of Illustrators. He also illustrated America's White Table.Mike lives in Austin, Texas.


Author Notes

Gloria Whelan was born on November 23, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. She took a strong interest in reading early in life when she was bedridden for a year with rheumatic fever. She dictated stories to her sister who would then type them. She then went on to writing poetry and later editing her high school newspaper. She attended the University of Michigan and earned her B.S.degree and M.S.W. degree. She began working as a social worker in Minneapolis and Detroit. She soon became tired of Detroit's hectic pace and moved to a cabin in northern Michigan.This peace was disrupted by an oil company 's desire to drill on her property. Because she did not own the mineral rights, the drilling proceeded. This experience inspired Gloria Whelan to write her children's novel, A Clearing in the Forest in 1978, which was about a boy working on an oilrig. Gloria Whelan has written several works of fiction for children and adults, many set in rural Michigan. She has also written stories set in exotic places like China and India. She won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2000 for Homeless Bird - the story of a young woman in India abandoned by her mother-in-law.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

In this powerful picture book in the Tales of Young Americans series, childhood under slavery is the story. Whelan details the hard labor and daily struggle; the constant terror of family breakup; and also a child's particular power to spy and eavesdrop. With a spare, lyrical narrative, young Ella May tells how she picks cotton with the adults from dawn to dusk. Then, after supper, she and her young friends have more work to do: hunched down in the shadowy bushes by the master's mansion, the children listen in on their owners and bring the news back home. They hear that the master has turned down an offer to sell his best worker, Ella May's daddy. Benny's unframed, dusk-toned, double-page paintings emphasize the stark contrast between slave shacks and plantation mansion. Most moving are the two full-page portraits showing Ella May's bond with Daddy as he tells her to listen hard: good news about freedom is coming.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2009 Booklist