Alec's Primer by Mildred Pitts Walter
  

Synopsis

Alec's Primer by Mildred Pitts Walter

As a young boy born into slavery in Virginia, Alec Turner was forbidden to learn to read. Naturally he was frightened when Zephie, his owner's grand-daughter, first offered to teach him, but she told him that if he learned to read, he could become a free man. As Alec mastered the alphabet from a small primer, Zephie lit in him a spark of hope, which became a flame. Alec's Primer is based on the true story of Alec Turner (1845-1923), who learned to read and, eventually, just as Zephie predicted, became a free man. Traveling to Vermont where he established his home and became a landowner, Alec kept his cherished primer with him throughout his life. Years later, Alec's daughter Daisy told his dramatic tale of defiance and endurance to the Vermont Folklife Center. Mildred Pitts Walter and Larry Johnson have transformed Alec's powerful story into an engrossing picture book that affords young readers an authentic lens through which to view history.

Reviews

The power of this escape story, which is based on true events, is in the realistic detail about a child under slavery and in the storytelling that passes on the history. Alec is frightened when the Virginia plantation owner's granddaughter wants to teach him to read. But, with the girl's help, he secretly studies the primer--until the day the brutal owner discovers him. She slashes his face, and his blood drips onto the book. He takes the primer with him when he escapes to join the Northern army, and it remains with him when he later becomes a landowner in Vermont. Eventually, his daughter tells his story, and she gives the bloodstained primer to the Vermont Folklore Center, which has published this book. Walter's spare, dramatic words and Johnson's stirring double-page paintings present a glimpse of the history in a brutal world: the child's intense fear

and, finally, his triumph. --Booklist

About the Author

Mildred Pitts Walter won the Coretta Scott King Award for Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World and received a King Honor Book Award and the Christopher Award for Mississippi Challenge. Born and reared in Louisiana, she currently lives in Denver, where she is a member of the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Larry Johnson is the Illustrator of one of Daisy Turner's own stories, Daisy and the Doll (2000) by Michael and Angela Shelf Medearis, and Knoxville, Tennessee by Nicki Giovanni. He co-hosts a radio talk show and serves as a church youth minister near his home in Boston, Massachusetts.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Hardback
32 pages
Interest Age: 4-8

Author

Mildred Pitts Walter
More books by Mildred Pitts Walter

Publisher

University Press of New England

Publication date

31st October 2004

ISBN

9780916718206


Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman
Lovereading

Lovereading 4 schools