Mother of the Sea Kindle Edition
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From School Library Journal
- ASIN : B072596539
- Publisher : Rosetta Press (May 1, 2017)
- Publication date : May 1, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 3275 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 61 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1544263856
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #785,697 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is the kind of book that should be read in history classes and English classes. Elliott is a world class author and her language is beautiful. There is no reason not to study the book from that angle. There is also an important perspective and piece of history that is not typically studied in social studies curriculums. The slave trade is mentioned in history class, but in a very clinical, sterile kind of way. A way that ignores the humanity of the people captured and forcibly brought here. That’s probably to make white students, families, teachers, and text book authors more comfortable with their white guilt, but it is neither fair nor wise. White students need to look at their own complicity in a system that was built on that trade and students of color, particularly black students, need to see people like them in books depicted as human. Elliott does that here in a way that we don’t often see in traditional publishing or school.
The subject matter is difficult here and rape is referenced in an oblique way. Mother of the Sea brought to mind two other books, one a picture book and the other another YA novel. In the Time of the Drums by Kim Siegelson deals with slaves drawn into the water to return home. Sharon Draper’s Copper Sun begins in the same brutal way with the Middle Passage.
While you could hand this to just about anyone who enjoys historical novels or magical realism, Mother of the Sea is perfect for reluctant readers. Suspense, beautiful language that draws you in, short, and captivating readers won’t want to put it down. High school libraries or libraries with high school age populations absolutely must have this on their shelves. These stories are important and Elliott is a top-notch writer. While a brutal story, she lulls you with the beauty of her words and her craft as a storyteller. Middle school libraries, well, your mileage will vary. I personally don’t see a problem with having this on your shelves. Most middle school American history classes discuss slavery and the slave trade, so clearly it isn’t a taboo subject (and it shouldn’t be anyway, preserving innocence of students only protects white privileged students, no one else). But I also recognize that it could be an uphill battle if this book gets challenged by a disgruntled parent. You as a librarian will have to make that call.
I really enjoyed this story. I found the incorporation of the Middle Passage to be extremely important and it was definitely reminiscent of Amistad which the author mentions at the end. This was definitely a difficult read in some passages; however, I think it was important for Elliot to portray the difficult parts of the Middle Passge. I don’t know much about the Yoruba religion and for that I should be ashamed. It is incorporated into the pages of this novella and really makes me want to research and learn more. My biggest criticism is that I wish we would have had the opportunity to see the development of characters. Everything moved so quickly that I didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I wanted. However, I was so intrigued by the plot that I’m willing to try out more from Elliot.