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A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers [Paperback]

By Deborah Hopkinson (Author) & Rolon Colon (Illustrator)
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Item Number 151214  
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Item description for A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers by Deborah Hopkinson & Rolon Colon...

The daughter of a slave forms a gospel singing group and goes on tour to raise money to save Fisk University.

Publishers Description
"A Band of Angels" is fiction, but it is based on real events and people. The character of Ella was inspired by Ella Sheppard Moore, who was born February 4, 1851, in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father was able to free himself and young Ella from slavery, but before he could buy freedom for Ella's mother she was sold away. Ella was raised in Cincinnati, where she took music lessons. At fifteen, she was left penniless when her father died. She arrived at Fisk School in 1868 with only six dollars.
Fisk was opened in 1866 as a school for former slaves and began offering college classes in 1871. That year, in a desperate attempt to save Fisk from closing, a music teacher named George White set out with a group of students on a singing tour to raise money. Although at first they only sang popular music of the day, they soon became famous for introducing spirituals to the world.
Ella Sheppard was the pianist for the Jubilee Singers on their historic concert tours, which raised enough money to save the school and build Jubilee Hall, the first permanent structure in the South for the education of black students. Ella later married George Moore, had three children, and located her mother and a sister. She died in 1914. Today her great-granddaughter is a librarian at Fisk University who shares the history of the Jubilee Singers with visitors.
Although none graduated from Fisk, the original Jubilee Singers were recognized with honorary degrees in 1978. Today, Jubilee Singers at Fisk University continue to keep alive a rich musical tradition that includes such songs as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Many Thousand Gone," and "Go Down, Moses."

Awards and Recognitions
A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers by Deborah Hopkinson & Rolon Colon has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Jane Addams Children's Book Award - 2000 Honor Book - Picture Book category

Citations And Professional Reviews
A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers by Deborah Hopkinson & Rolon Colon has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 1363
  • PW Notes and Reprints - 12/17/2001 page 94
  • Booklist - 02/15/2003 page 1084
  • Publishers Weekly - 12/17/2001
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 900

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Aladdin
Pages   40
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.43" Width: 8.51" Height: 0.12"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2002
Publisher   Aladdin
Age  5-9
ISBN  0689848870  
ISBN13  9780689848872  
UPC  076714006997  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 20, 2016 04:02.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About Deborah Hopkinson & Rolon Colon

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Deborah Hopkinson'smost recent book is the ALA Award-WinningApples to Oregon. Her other titles includeUnder the Quilt of NIght(Also illustrated by James E. Ransome) andFannie in the Kitchen. She lives in Oregon."

Deborah Hopkinson currently resides in Walla Walla, in the state of Washington.

Deborah Hopkinson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Reading Rainbow Books
  2. Reading Rainbow Books (Pb)
  3. Ready-To-Read - Level 3 (Cloth)
  4. Ready-To-Read - Level 3 (Quality)
  5. Stories of Famous Americans (Paperback)
  6. Who Was...?

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Arts & Music > Music > General
3Books > Subjects > Children > Arts & Music > Music
4Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Biographies > General
5Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Biographies > People of Color
6Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Multicultural Stories > African-American
7Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8
8Books > Subjects > Children > Literature

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Band of Angels?

Great Historical Fiction  Apr 2, 2007
A Band of Angels is a moving story by Deborah Hopkinson based on real events and people from history. The book is appropriate for readers in third through fifth grade, and would particularly be appropriate for those studying American history in the late 1800s. The experiences and emotions that Ella faces in the book provide a good depiction of the feelings and events people encountered during that time period in a subtle way. The watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are presented in soft and appropriate colors that are well-suited to the text. The pictures are unique examples of the illustrator, Raul Colon's work, and add to the mood and setting of the story. Overall, A Band of Angels is a touching story that children can enjoy.
Powerful Story  Apr 9, 2004
The storyteller, Aunt Beth, relates to her niece the story of her great-great grandmother Ella Sheppard. This is the story of the determination of a girl to save her school by forming a chorus and taking them on tour to raise money. While the story is fiction, Hopkinson reveals in a note at the end of the text that is was inspired by factual events. Raul Colon's earth-toned art gives this book a historical flair. The glowing illustrations are suggestive of old photographs. The child narrator gives the book the personal effect to entice the reader to be indulged. This story illustrates the power of hard work and determination.
Jubilee  Mar 13, 2003
A Band of Angels tells the story of Grandma Ella, a character who is inspired by Ella Sheppard Moore who was a pianist for the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. We learn that Grandma Ella was born into slavery and freed at fourteen when the civil war ended. The story details how young Ella worked tirelessly to save money to attend a new school for freed slaves known as Fisk School. After saving her money and arriving at Fisk, Ella continues working so that she can stay in school and also joins the school chorus. In spite of her personal efforts, she still faced the very real possibility of having to leave school because the school itself was experiencing great financial hardship. While school officials had pretty much given up hope of keeping the school open, the school chorus and Professor White, the choir director, believe that they can help save the school by doing concerts throughout the North. The story then chronicles the experiences of the choir which range from jubilant moments to performing in virtually empty concert halls.

A Band of Angels is a book that provides a colorful way to share a proud part of African American heritage with your children. Colon's illustrations add greater depth to the story and will help children better visualize the events that take place. While this is a work of fiction, the story is based on real people who selflessly used their talents to keep Fisk's doors open. The book also provides a good introduction to Negro Spirituals, which were kept alive through the voices of the Jubilee Singers. In addition, readers will see how this brave group of singers would not let racism quiet their talented voices. Above all, the story will help inspire children to hold fast to their dreams in spite of the hurdles or difficulties they may encounter along the way.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

A great introduction for children  Apr 26, 2000
If you have read Andrew Ward's new book about the Jubilee Singers, Dark Midnight When I Rise, you will also be interested in this award-winning book that introduces children to their inspiring history.
NPR should feature more children's books like this  Mar 7, 1999
When I heard about this book on NPR I wished there were more places to hear about children's books like this one. It seems as though bookstores often carry only light and fluffy or series books. I love to share historical fiction with my children and love books like A BAND OF ANGELS.

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