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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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6 Remote Warehouse Children's Young Adult- Biography
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A Gift from Childhood: Memories of an African Boyhood


A Gift from Childhood: Memories of an African Boyhood Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Baba Wagué is only four years old when he is sent to the tiny Malian village of Kassar, West Africa, to be raised by his paternal grandparents, according to the family tradition. He is most unhappy about this at first, but under his grandmothers patient and wise tutelage, he comes to love his close-knit village community, as he listens to his grandmothers stories, learns about his own history and traditions, and experiences many hilarious and sobering adventures along the way. He learns how to catch a catfish with his bare hands, learns the true meaning of the appearance of a snake in the granary, flees from an army of bees and mistakes a hungry albino cobra snake for a pink inner tube. And he survives, with trepidation and pride, his circumcision — a ceremony that brings together the entire village.

Finally, Grandma Sabou decides that Baba is educated enough to go to school, and he moves back to the city, where his family struggles to provide him with a formal education. But he brings his village stories with him, and in the process of sharing them with his neighborhood, he not only uncovers his immense artistic and storytelling talents, but eventually finds his way to America, where he embarks on a new life as a writer and artist.

Diakités engaging storytelling style and bright, bold illustrations make this a beautiful gift book and a wonderful tribute to Malian village life.

About the Author

Baba Wagué Diakité is an award-winning artist, ceramicist, writer and storyteller. His book The Hunterman and the Crocodile was named a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. The Magic Gourd (Africana Book Awards Honor Book) and The Hatseller and the Monkeys (Aesop Prize) both received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. I Lost My Tooth in Africa, written by his daughter Penda Diakité and illustrated by Wagué, won the Africana Book Award for Best Book for Young Children. Diakité is also the author/illustrator of Mee-Ann and the Magic Serpent, and he is the illustrator of Jamaris Drum (by Eboni Bynum and Roland Jackson) and The Pot of Wisdom (by Adwoa Badoe), all Groundwood titles.

He is the founder and director of the Ko-Falen Cultural Center in Bamako, Mali, an organization that promotes cultural, artistic and educational exchanges between people of the US and Mali through art workshops, dance, music and ceremony. He is married to Portland artist Ronna Neuenschwander and divides his time between Bamako and Portland, Oregon.

Product Details

Diakite, Baba Wague
Groundwood Books
Baba Wagu
People of Color
Children s Young Adult-Biography
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 4
20 color illustrations, 16 BandW illustr
9 x 6.38 in
Age Level:
from 10

Related Subjects

Children's » Nonfiction » Biographies
Children's » Nonfiction » World Cultures
Children's » People and Cultures
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies

A Gift from Childhood: Memories of an African Boyhood New Trade Paper
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Product details 136 pages Groundwood Books - English 9781554984213 Reviews:
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