From the Archives…

June 14, 2011

McKissack Book: Black Hands, White Sails

originally posted March 3, 2009

We’re going to start featuring assorted books from the Fred and Patricia McKissack collection; the first one we’re showcasing is Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and is a 2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

In an article with Scholastic, Pat shared, “We’ve written extensively about slavery in America, but I never realized how important free black sailors were to the Underground Railroad and to the abolitionist movement. They’ve helped in more ways than we can imagine.”

From Kirkus Reviews (on Amazon.com):
…a well-written, historical account of African-Americans who sailed on whaling ships off the East Coast between 1730 and 1880. The whaling industry provided great opportunities for free black seaman (and runaway slaves), many of whom could not find jobs elsewhere. The McKissacks note that during the “golden age” of whaling in the early 19th century, African-Americans comprised one-quarter of the crews; after the Civil War, their ranks swelled to half of all whalers… Another thread of this fascinating history is the story of the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad for the Nantucket and New Bedford whalers.

From Amazon.com:

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590483137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590483131
Posted by Rebecca Morrison

The next addition of Patricia McKissack’s Clone Codes was released in February 2011! In the first book of the trilogy that came out last year, “cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom.”

Clone Codes, The #2: Cyborg tells the story of Houston, a cyborg in the year 2130, and how he is considered less than human. Co-written with her husband Fred and her son John, “The Clone Codes sci-fi adventure trilogy continues with this [second] book that blends a futuristic society with pivotal moments in world history.”

Both Clone Codes books will be discussed in Pat’s upcoming Science Fiction-Creative Writing three-part videoconference series. (See previous posts). To register for any of Patricia McKissack’s interactive K-12 videoconferences, contact Cooperating School Districts.

For over 10 years, acclaimed St. Louis author Patricia McKissack has taught students the writing process over videoconference. During hands-on & highly interactive sessions, students discuss plot, themes, character development and more. In a series of three videoconferences, Mrs. McKissack customizes for any grade level and any part of the writing process. In the first v/c, the author meets with the teachers to discuss the goals of the author visit and what books they would like her to present. In the second, the author dialogs with students, and in the third v/c she gives feedback on the writing & illustrations they have done.

In 2010, we’re excited to offer a new take on a favorite program: Creative WritingScience Fiction. This videoconference is open for 4th-12th grade students; if both elementary and high school teachers respond, we’ll most likely add another time to split the groups up. For 2010, Science Fiction will be offered in the spring:

Teacher Session: Thursday, April 15, 2010 @  4 pm CT
Student Session I:  Thursday, April 29, 2010 @ 11 am CT
Student Session II:  Thursday, May 12, 2010 @ 11 am CT

Cost for the series of 3 v/c is $650 for New Links members; non-members $750. Please register by April 1.

Pat’s newest book, the science fiction story The Clone Codes, (a collaboration with her husband and son), is now available. In The Clone Codes, “The Cyborg Wars are over and Earth has peacefully prospered for more than one hundred years. Yet sometimes history must repeat itself until humanity learns from its mistakes. In the year 2170, despite technological and political advances, cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom. Thirteen-year-old Leanna’s entire life is thrown into chaos when The World Federation of Nations discovers her mom is part of the radical Liberty Bell Movement.…”

We’re going to start featuring assorted books from the Fred and Patricia McKissack collection; the first one we’re showcasing is Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and is a 2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book.

In an article with Scholastic, Pat shared, “We’ve written extensively about slavery in America, but I never realized how important free black sailors were to the Underground Railroad and to the abolitionist movement. They’ve helped in more ways than we can imagine.”

From Kirkus Reviews (on Amazon.com):
…a well-written, historical account of African-Americans who sailed on whaling ships off the East Coast between 1730 and 1880. The whaling industry provided great opportunities for free black seaman (and runaway slaves), many of whom could not find jobs elsewhere. The McKissacks note that during the “golden age” of whaling in the early 19th century, African-Americans comprised one-quarter of the crews; after the Civil War, their ranks swelled to half of all whalers… Another thread of this fascinating history is the story of the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad for the Nantucket and New Bedford whalers.

From Amazon.com:

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590483137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590483131