Freedom Over Me

Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
LIST PRICE: AU$ 9.99

About The Book

Newbery Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as…a lantern.

You, an object. An object to sell.

In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN’T be bought or sold—dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his “workers”, Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person’s life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about—their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess. Visually epic, and never before done, this stunning picture book is unlike anything you’ve seen.

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he was recently named a Newbery Honoree for his picture book, Freedom Over Me. He has also been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award; the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; has been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer; a Coretta Scott King Award winner; and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions. His books include Freedom Over MeSail AwayBeautiful BlackbirdBeat the Story-Drum, Pum PumLet It ShineAshley Bryan’s Book of Puppets; and What a Wonderful World. He lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine.

About The Illustrator

Photo Credit:

Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and he has shared the joy of song with children ever since. A beloved illustrator, he was recently named a Newbery Honoree for his picture book, Freedom Over Me. He has also been the recipient of the Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award; the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award; has been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer; a Coretta Scott King Award winner; and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions. His books include Freedom Over MeSail AwayBeautiful BlackbirdBeat the Story-Drum, Pum PumLet It ShineAshley Bryan’s Book of Puppets; and What a Wonderful World. He lives in Islesford, one of the Cranberry Isles off the coast of Maine.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (September 13, 2016)
  • Length: 56 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481456913
  • Grades: 4 - 6
  • Ages: 6 - 10
  • Lexile ® 730L

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Awards and Honors

  • ALA Newbery Honor Book
  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • ALA Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
  • Maine Student Book Award Master List
  • ILA Notable Books for a Global Society
  • Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
  • Lupine Award (ME)
  • Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List
  • NCTE Notable Poetry List
  • Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Multicultural Books List
  • Arnold Adoff Poetry Award
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
  • Kirkus Prize Finalist
  • NCTE Notable Verse Novel List
  • ALA Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Ashley Bryan