All Different Now | Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis | Diverse Children&

All Different Now | Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis | Diverse Children's Books

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Experience the joy of Juneteenth in this celebration of freedom from the award-winning team of Angela Johnson and E.B. Lewis.

Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms.

Told in Angela Johnson’s signature melodic style and brought to life by E.B. Lewis’s striking paintings, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation’s history.


From School Library Journal

Gr 3 Up—Previous picture books about Juneteenth (the holiday celebrating the day slaves were freed in Texas—two years after the rest of the country) have focused on contemporary children discovering this quirk of history. Valerie Wesley's Freedom's Gifts (S. & S., 1997) and Carole Boston Weatherford's Juneteenth Jamboree (Lee & Low, 1995) fall into that category. Johnson imagines what it would be like to be a slave one minute and a free person the next. Spare text, structured as free verse, hones in on the smell of honeysuckle and breakfast routines as the day begins, like any other. The titular phrase appears three times: first to build suspense, then to indicate the earthshaking import of the message spreading from the port, and, finally, to reflect on the consequences. Lewis paints details not mentioned. The protagonist is a girl living in the slave quarters with her siblings and mother. They are working in the cotton fields when the news arrives. Skillful watercolor renderings depict nuanced changes in lighting and focus, thereby capturing individual responses to a community's new reality—from incredulity and quiet contemplation to rapture. Occasional panels indicate passing time; the brilliant clarity of the fields at noon fades to a green-blue gauze over the revelers heading home from a late-night celebration. A time line, glossary, overview, list of websites, and notes by author and illustrator provide deeper understanding. With a narrative notable for its understated simplicity and lack of judgment, this title allows readers to draw their own conclusions. An affecting entrée to a challenging conversation.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library

From Booklist

On June 19, 1865, a young slave girl and her family go about their daily routine, unaware that their lives are about to change. They wake to the smell of honeysuckle before they get ready to work all day in the hot fields of Texas. Before long, word spreads even to them: “We were all / now and forever free / and things / would be / all different now.” Thus begin the celebrations that will be commemorated as Juneteenth, the day Texas slaves finally learned about their rights as freed people, a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Rich, subdued watercolors convey the celebrations with dignity and awe. Each page shows the slaves as a collective people, finally seeing a brighter future within reach. Johnson’s attached verse enables younger readers to see the momentous nature of this date, while back matter appropriate for older readers provides a timeline and other important factual references. A worthy addition to any collection on the topic. Grades 1-3. --Courtney Jones


  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 068987376X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0689873768
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 - 9 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ AD830L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Kindergarten - 4
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 11 x 0.4 x 9 inches



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