Looking for an extraordinary book to share with all the young readers in our family, let me recommend . . .
A DAY FOR RENEMBERIN’: Inspired by the True Events of the First Memorial Day
For readers in grades 2–5—
Leah 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. — From School Library Journal