Brick by Brick

Brick by Brick

Book - 2012
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Describes the building of the White House, the home of the United States president, and how it took many hands, several of them slaves', who will be remembered throughout history for their extraordinary feat.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061920820
0061920827
Branch Call Number: Ju 975.302 SMI
Additional Contributors: Cooper, Floyd

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BCD2013 Jun 09, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Did you know that slaves helped build the White House? This poignant, visually compelling work told in verse chronicles what went into constructing one of the most famous buildings in the world, piece by piece...brick by brick.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Mar 24, 2013

It's baffling to think that a book on this topic hasn't really been written for children before. A book that considers the contributions of slaves to the most famous house in America should unquestionably be everywhere. How to account for Smith's as the first? You can't. All you can do is be grateful that the book is as good as it is. With a plain purpose and no folderols or frippery to muck up the history, Smith and Cooper have crafted a work of nonfiction that might actually be interesting to those small fry forced to sit through a recitation of late 18th-century highlights. Beautiful in every which way, it's a gross understatement to call this book long overdue. Call it necessary reading instead. For every library, everywhere.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Mar 24, 2013

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Mar 24, 2013

"Under a hazy, / hot summer sun, / many hands work / together as one." The time has come for the President of the United States of America to have a home to live in. So it is that white workers and free black workers are joined by slave labor to get the job done. In highlighting their work, poet and author Charles R. Smith Jr. focuses squarely on the hands of the laborers. Gentle rhyming text tells the tale, pulling in facts along the way. For example, we see that some of the more skilled laborers earned shillings that went towards buying their freedom. The house is built and the people look forward to a day when they won't have to be slaves any long. Some factual backmatter appears at the end.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Mar 24, 2013

"Chiseling, carving,
and transporting stone,
slave hands ache,
dark skin to white bone."

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