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An Insightful Children’s Book on Slavery

Tears for Ashan, published and distributed by Creative Press Works in Memphis, TN, offers a unique and valuable perspective on slavery that is provided in an understated, illustrated story set in an unspecified region of Africa. As Kumasi approaches manhood, he looks up to and admires a young hunter named Ashan, whom he considers his best friend. When the “men without color” arrive carrying “long sticks that smoked and made a loud popping noise,” Kumasi watches in horror as Ashan is taken captive and grieves when he realizes he will never see Ashan again. The Afrocentric point of view offers a much-needed balance in children’s literature on this topic. Social studies teachers will welcome this authentic, moving story, extended by softly colored pictures. (Gr. 3-6)