Reading aloud

Moments of Grace

The name of the ship on which Joseph Cinque and his fellow slaves rebelled against their captors was Amistad, which is the Spanish word for “friendship.” I had seen the movie and the opera, but it wasn’t until I read the new children’s book Amistad Rising that I came across this bit of information, which adds an ironic touch to the story of the slaves whose quest for freedom was eventually affirmed by the American legal system. Cinque’s name, by the way (another piece of information available in this book), was not really Cinque--the name his Spanish captors gave him--but Singe.

Singe, or Cinque, was from the Mende tribe in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Veronica Chambers’s book about him would be a good “read aloud” book for families to share this summer. From what I know of third- and fourth-graders, I believe it will hold their interest. It has a plot with dark moments and a courageous hero.

 

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