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The Girl Who Saved Yesterday
Written by Julius Lester
Illustrated by Carl Angel
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The Girl Who Saved Yesterday by Julius LesterWhen the girl, Silence, is sent by the trees to save Yesterday, she doesn't know what her task is, only that it is important. Returning to the village that cast her out, Silence recognizes her purpose: to join the dead with the living in an act that celebrates their memory.
-reading allowed me to dig deeper into the stunning illustrations. A challenging, but ultimately very provocative tale with illustrations to match. --Martha Pettit, Folio Books A deep and mysterious fable that bursts forth as a celebration of life and nature. --G. Neri, Coretta Scott King honor-winning author of Yummy The Girl Who Saved Yesterday is a powerful, poetic fable that continually erupts from its paper pages of living images and tender, reverent deep thoughts. Not just the characters, even the images, thoughts and ideas portrayed are larger than life, mega-dreams of immense power capable of great healing or great harm if neglected or misused. A thrilling wedding of images and narrative inspires the reader to rise to the powerful visions conveyed in The Girl Who Saved Yesterday. Peopled with a powerful black young heroine, many stern but loving trees and animals, plus living stones on a mountain forgotten by a village who abandoned their savior, the girl the trees named Silence, the story erupts like lava with rainbows. A need for memory and meaning, for honoring, for stories of history, for Yesterday, is at the core of the quest of The Girl Who Saved Yesterday. This beautiful book may be too large for small minds to comprehend easily. However, children will adjust to its powerful cadences and compelling rhythms with joy and anticipation. It is a story of the need for human wisdom, for memory, for the most basic honoring of ancestors, for ceremony for the forgotten past. The Girl Who Saved Yesterday breaks barriers, boundaries, and expectations and leaps beyond to a space where all things have meaning and deserve to be loved. It is a soul-enlarging journey. --Midwest Book Review In this age of automaticity, electronic immediacy, and carpe diem, this book delivers a rare exultation: remember the Ancestors. Silence, a child whom the villagers have cast out into the forest because she tried to climb the mountain to find her dead parents, now lives happily among nurturing trees. When the most ancient of the trees, Wonderboom, tells Silence she must return to the village to save Yesterday, at first she fails to understand how but reluctantly returns to the hostile village. Morning Star and Sun tell Silence what she must do, and with a scythe, she cuts a path up the mountainside, where the trees help her find glowing stones that she thinks must be her parents. Silence then shows the villagers how to honor their dead, for the Ancestors resent being forgotten. Lester sets this literary folk tale somewhere in Africa, where the villagers wear bright, patte rned fabrics, the women wear beautiful head wraps, and all of the characters have dark brown skin. While Lester sprinkles interesting metaphors and similes on nearly every page, Angel paints the story to life with personified trees, an impressive array of topographies, and a girl who will stop at nothing to follow her instincts. When Silence speaks, change happens. A powerful tale that should help children of all ages embrace the fact that dead does not have to mean gone. (Picture book. 4-9) --STARRED Review, Kirkus Newbery Honor author Lester brings together folktale elements for a tale of planetary healing, and Angel (Sky High) contributes dramatic, feverish paintings of African animals, thatched huts, and supernatural entities. --Publishers Weekly A young girl named Silence, who has been raised by the ancient trees of the forest, is directed to return to her village in order to save all the Yesterdays. Obediently she complies, although she doesn't quite understand her task. Eventually she climbs a nearby mountain where she uncovers some glowing pink stones that mark the graves of village ancestors. Once the area around the stones is cleaned and restored, the markers release memories that save the Yesterdays. This lyrical fable fairly brims with rich language, and while the story's meaning may take a few readings to become clear, the pleasure of Lester's words makes the journey worthwhile. Angel's lush and colorful spreads beautifully complement the text, setting the story in a small African village. Most impressive are his portrayals of personified trees and the magical memories that emanate from the ancestors and their graves. In addition to providing some excellent examples of vivid prose, this story is sure to spark discussion of cultural customs that honor the dead. -- Kay Weisman, Booklist From a tree 'whose limbs were as thick as sorrow
'which loomed like a memory no one could recall,'
's folkloric world comes to life along with his powerful message: Always remember. --50 Sensational Books of Summer, Scholastic Teacher Magazine Written in the style of a fable, the story honors the past and reminds us that today demands knowledge of yesterday. The illustrations are a brilliantly vivid complement to this poetically written tale. --San Jose Mercury News
--Good Reads with Ronna Julius Lester's The Girl Who Saved Yesterday, published by the wonderful Marissa Moss at Creston Books, is a powerful story with strong mythical qualities, full of beautiful metaphors holding deeper truths. A young girl is found abandoned at the foot of a large mountain near a small village. She is convinced her parents live at the top and every day begins a journey to return there. But the villagers are afraid her persistence will anger the spirits, and believing that they are doing the right thing, they take the young girl into a large forest and abandon her. She is adopted by the ancient trees that populate the forest, and they name her Silence. Years pass, and some of the trees start getting sick--they tell Silence that she needs to save Yesterday. None of them can tell her what that means, but it does require her to return to the village where she used to live. Silence's return to her old village prompts an unusual light storm from the mountain where she was found years ago, an occurrence the villagers live in fear of. Following the trails of light, Silence discovers a field of bright stones at the top of the mountain, representations of their ancestors who have been forgotten by the villagers. These stones are central to saving the trees and helping the villagers remember. But will Silence be able to break through the ignorance and betrayals? You'll have to read it to find out. Mythic Poetry in The Girl Who Saved Yesterday by Julius Lester and Carl Angel ~ Post by Mira Reisberg 6/27/2016 0 Comments Picture Julius Lester's The Girl Who Saved Yesterday, published by the wonderful Marissa Moss at Creston Books, is a powerful story with strong mythical qualities, full of beautiful metaphors holding deeper truths. A young girl is found abandoned at the foot of a large mountain near a small village. She is convinced her parents live at the top and every day begins a journey to return there. But the villagers are afraid her persistence will anger the spirits, and believing that they are doing the right thing, they take the young girl into a large forest and abandon her. She is adopted by the ancient trees that populate the forest, and they name her Silence. Years pass, and some of the trees start getting sick--they tell Silence that she needs to save Yesterday. None of them can tell her what that means, but it does require her to return to the village where she used to live. Silence's return to her old village prompts an unusual light storm from the mountain where she was found years ago, an occurrence the villagers live in fear of. Following the trails of light, Silence discovers a field of bright stones at the top of the mountain, representations of their ancestors who have been forgotten by the villagers. These stones are central to saving the trees and helping the villagers remember. But will Silence be able to break through the ignorance and betrayals? You'll have to read it to find out. Picture Julius Lester is a fantastic author whose writing carries strong mythical qualities, full of beautiful metaphors containing deeper truths. His descriptive similes pack surprisingly emotional punches despite the dream-like quality of his words - Before anyone could ask, Sun began sliding from the sky like disappointment that would never be redeemed. This story is absolutely haunting and memorable in the best of ways. Carl Angel does a magnificent job of bringing this legend-inspiring story to life. From the very beginning, Silence's adoptive family of trees captures the reader's attention and doesn't let it go. While the trees do have humanoid characteristics, they are clearly enigmas with facial features reminiscent of wooden tribal masks seen in a wide variety of cultures. His work with color to provide impact and emphasize light and darkness is truly remarkable, and many of his illustrations have a slightly blurred soft-focus effect that adds to the mythical quality of Silence's journey to save Yesterday. --Children's Book Academy A timeless folktale set in an unspecified African country. In poetic language, the picture book tells a powerful story about caring for our ancestors and including the dead in our communities. It sends the reassuring message to children that dead doesn't have to mean gone and forgotten. Carl Angel's bright and vivid illustrations bring this lyrical folktale to life and add to its mysterious feel. --Multicultural Book of the Month, Colours of Us
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More books by Julius Lester
26th May 2016
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