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A Day for Rememberin': Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day



by
Leah Henderson
illustrated by
Floyd Cooper

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Abrams
Imprint
Abrams
ISBN
9781419736308
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$18.30   $15.25
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A moving tribute to the little-known history behind the first Memorial Day, illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Floyd Cooper

Today is a special day. Eli knows it’s important if he’s allowed to miss one second of school, his “hard-earned right.”

Inspired by true events and told through the eyes of a young boy, this is the deeply moving story about what is regarded as the first Memorial Day on May 1, 1865. Eli dresses up in his best clothes, Mama gathers the mayflowers, Papa straightens his hat, and together they join the crowds filling the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, with bouquets, crosses, and wreaths. Abolitionists, missionaries, teachers, military officers, and a sea of faces Black, Brown, and White, they march as one and sing for all those who gave their lives fighting for freedom during the Civil War.

With poignant prose and celebratory, powerful illustrations, A Day for Rememberin’ shines light on the little-known history of this important holiday and reminds us never to forget the people who put their lives on the line for their country. The book is illustrated by award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper and includes archival photos in the back matter, as well as an author’s note, bibliography, timeline, and index.

Author’s note. “The Roots of Decoration Day.” Time line. “Other Cities with Claims of Being the Birthplace of Memorial Day.” Endnotes. Selected bibliography. Full-color illustrations were made by oil erasure.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

48

Trim Size

11 2/10" x 9 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.8: points 0.5

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Mar 2022

Book Genres

Picture Books for Older Readers, Historical Fiction

Topics

Freedmen. African Americans. Memorial Day. Charleston, South Carolina. US history. Civil War (1861–1865). 21st Colored Infantry. Decoration Day. US military personnel. Union soldiers. Enslaved people. Slavery. 

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5-Henderson's latest tells the story of the first Memorial Day celebration from the perspective of a young African American boy whose family has recently been freed following the Civil War. The boy longs to go with his father to help him refurbish a racecourse that was made into a prison for Union soldiers during the war. Finally, he is allowed to assist in painting the fence while the adults establish a graveyard for the fallen soldiers. Once the memorial is complete, the entire African American community in Charleston marches from their homes to the cemetery in a parade. Though the event is sad, it is also a celebration of the end of slavery. Cooper's mixed-media illustrations beautifully depict the community's emotions and their actions in creating a memorial. Soft colors gently envelop readers in the story. Back matter includes an author's note, the roots of Decoration Day, a time line of the Civil War and Memorial Day, and a bibliography. VERDICT An enchanting account of the first Memorial Day, this book is recommended for all collections.-Sara Thomas, New Castle P.L., DE

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5-Henderson's latest tells the story of the first Memorial Day celebration from the perspective of a young African American boy whose family has recently been freed following the Civil War. The boy longs to go with his father to help him refurbish a racecourse that was made into a prison for Union soldiers during the war. Finally, he is allowed to assist in painting the fence while the adults establish a graveyard for the fallen soldiers. Once the memorial is complete, the entire African American community in Charleston marches from their homes to the cemetery in a parade. Though the event is sad, it is also a celebration of the end of slavery. Cooper's mixed-media illustrations beautifully depict the community's emotions and their actions in creating a memorial. Soft colors gently envelop readers in the story. Back matter includes an author's note, the roots of Decoration Day, a time line of the Civil War and Memorial Day, and a bibliography. VERDICT An enchanting account of the first Memorial Day, this book is recommended for all collections.-Sara Thomas, New Castle P.L., DE

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