In eighteenth-century West Africa, a boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements–Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth–is captured and taken to America as a slave.
“Loved ones are never forgotten
When we continue to tell their stories.” (from back cover of the book)
Before reading this story/poem, learn a new word “griot” – meaning a West African storyteller, praise singer, poet, and musician. The griot relates the story of Dinga, the blacksmith, and his son Musafa, who becomes one of “the Taken”. Dinga calls to the four elements – earth, fire, water, wind – to find his son. Each element tells about its search, and wind, becoming a hurricane to cross the ocean, finds Musafa – a slave apprenticed to a blacksmith. The drawing by Leo and Diane Dillon enliven the story, making it a work of art.
Recommended by Cindy Childers, Garfield Park Branch Library
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