January’s Sparrow is a powerful book focusing on strong themes and historical events, such as slavery, death, escape, the Underground Railroad, and more. Patricia Polacco isn’t afraid to create canada’s 1 pharmacy childrens books that offer a moving story that will kee
p children glued to the pages until the very end.
The story opens with the Crosswhites, specifically their young girl Sadie, who realize they have to flee the plantation they live on if they are to survive. Another slave there, January, has been beaten to fiercely by the plantation master, and thought to be dead.
No one knows whether or not they will be next. In their hopes for safety and freedom, they flee to the Underground Railroad, slowly but surely making their way to the North where they can be free and live their lives as they choose. However, in doing so Sadie must leave behind her beloved sparrow, a wooden one carved by January. It is a long journey, and once it is finally over, one day Sadie opens the door of their new home to find the sparrow there, waiting for her. Did January survive and find them?
It’s a story that is as fascinating as it is moving; Polacco based her tale upon actual events. Kids will be riveted to January’s Sparrow, hoping that the Crosswhites will escape and hopefully live happily ever after. It’s a hard ending to
hope for when such times did not tend to yield such endings, but Polacco has a pleasant surprise in store for readers. Accompanied by Polacco’s illustrations, which use markers and pencils to create stunning imagery, it’s a story that people can get behind, using it to teach a bit of history while giving kids the sort of ending they crave.
Intended for children ages 8 and up, January’s Sparrow is a tension filled tale that kids won’t soon forget. Many are even likely
to remember it long after becoming adults, and parents can appreciate it for both its style as well as the compelling story it carries within its pages. Teachers and parents alike will enjoy showing kids such a great tale.