Whenever I become lost in a book I feel the urge to tell you. This is one of them. Ann Rinaldi is one of my favorite authors. She takes real historical figures and fleshes them out on paper. Her writing is so remarkable. Never a wasted word! She packs so much punch in every spare sentence. Poignant, rich, beautiful. She writes for young adults but there is enough depth for adults. I was truly sad to come to the last page.
In Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons, she tells
the story of America's first black poetess, Phillis
Wheatley. Taken from the west coast of Africa by
slavers as a young child, she was sold to a wealthy
colonial family who soon saw that she was gifted.
Rather than keep her as a slave, they began to treat her as a family member and educated her. She was schooled in Greek and Latin, studied the classics, and fell in love with the written word.
During the Revolutionary War, she wrote a poem about George Washington and was invited to headquarters to meet with him. She was so remarkable in her lifetime and helped paved the way for the eventual emancipation of her people. I felt a kinship with Phillis because she was a writer and wonder if her author did too. It's the best book Ann Rinaldi has ever written in my opinion.
Reading about Phillis reminded me of an interview question I was once asked which I'll now ask you: If you could have dinner with three authors or historical figures who would you invite and why?