Winter, Jonah My Name is James Madison Hemings, illustrated by Terry Widener. PICTURE BOOK. Schwatrz & Wade (Random), 2016. $18.
James Hemings was a slave on a plantation in Virginia. Like many slaves, his father was also his master. In James case, however, his master/father was Thomas Jefferson. Being only one-eighth black, he could have passed as white, but since he is property, such a life is not for him.
Winter takes a very interesting look at the life of Thomas Jefferson’s slave children. It is quite a lot of information and more detailed than the average picture book. I will definitely be showing this to my teachers, as I feel the material is more appropriate for the upper grades, I’d love to know if an elementary school would use and talk about this book. Anyone?
EL _ OPTIONAL. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher