Author Inspires Children with New Book While Giving a Glimpse of Southern History

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Set against the backdrop of the racially segregated South in the 1940’s, “When Grandmama Sings”, a new children’s book by Margaree King Mitchell and illustrated by James E. Ransome, inspires children to discover the voice within them and pursue their dreams, regardless of the obstacles they encounter.

. I don’t make goal achievement sound like it will be easy. Reaching a goal requires a price. Students have to decide if they are willing to pay that price.”

“When Grandmama Sings” is the latest book in Margaree King Mitchell’s chronicle of the history of the South. Joining “Granddaddy’s Gift” and “Uncle Jed’s Barbershop,” a Coretta Scott King honor book, “When Grandmama Sings” travels through the racially segregated South of the 1940’s.

“Valuable lessons can be learned from history,” Mitchell says. “My stories feature ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things for the time period in which they live. Children learn persistence, determination, and the will to succeed despite obstacles.”

“When Grandmama Sings” follows eight year old Belle as she accompanies her grandmother, Ivory Belle Coles, a jazz singer, on a tour of the South. What she sees affects her deeply. But her grandmother’s handling of the obstacles she faces makes a profound impression on Belle. At the end of the tour Grandmama Coles is offered a record contract and moves up North. Belle realizes she also has a song to sing and one day her gift will takes her places. James Ransome’s brilliant watercolors breathe life into every page and every situation encountered on the tour.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with James again,” says Mitchell. “His work on Uncle Jed’s Barbershop and on When Grandmama Sings is filled with passion and exemplifies the era.”

Mitchell is a popular speaker with both adult audiences and with children’s audiences. With adults she talks about the value of southern history in children’s literature. “I’m surprised by the way my stories affect adults, especially the ones who grew up in the South. I hear countless stories of their experiences. They tell me their stories with as much emotion as if the incidents occurred yesterday,” Mitchell says.

Her stories also impact children. “She makes history come alive and she helps us believe that our dreams can come true,” says seven year old Sarah, after one of Mitchell’s presentations in Kansas City. “I’m always excited to meet children and talk to them. They see hope in my stories. They realize they can contribute to making the world a better place,” says Mitchell. “If the characters in my stories can achieve their dreams during a time of discrimination and racial barriers, students know they have no excuses. I don’t make goal achievement sound like it will be easy. Reaching a goal requires a price. Students have to decide if they are willing to pay that price.”

“When Grandmama Sings” is available online and in bookstores everywhere.

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Margaree Mitchell
margareekm@gmail.com
9137088038
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