Midnight Teacher

By School Library Journal

A winning tribute to Lilly Ann Granderson, the Midnight Teacher. Granderson, who was enslaved, secretly learned to read and write as a child and passed on this dear knowledge to hundreds of other enslaved people despite the great risks. To avoid the notice and suspicion of white masters and patrollers, she hosted her school in the middle of the night. Halfmann's narrative follows Granderson's life pre- and post-Civil War, including Granderson's involvement in educating newly freed black people in the South. In the afterword, Halfmann delves further into this hero's legacy: her grandchildren and great-grandchild would go on to become college grads, U.S. congressmen, and more. Ladd's illustrations, rendered in acrylic and colored pencil, are realistic and done in an earthy palette of sandy browns and rich greens. Ladd adroitly conveys the tone of the narrative with dioramalike scenes and uses perspective to add intensity. VERDICT A top choice for any library serving elementary school-aged children.