#1095 – Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer by Heather Henson and Bryan Collier

cover Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer
Written by Heather Henson
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Atheneum BYR/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books    9/06/2016
978-1-4814-2095-2
32 pages     Ages 7—10

A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Welcome to Mammoth Cave.

“My name’s Stephen Bishop, and I’ll be
your guide.

“So come with me, by the light of my
lantern, into the deepest, biggest cave
in all of the United States.

“Down here, beneath the earth, I’m not
just a slave.
I’m a pioneer.
I know all the twists and turns.
It taught me to not be afraid of the dark.

“And watching all of these people write
their names on the ceiling?

“Well, it taught me how to read, too.
Imagine that. A slave, reading.
But like I said, down here I’m not just
a slave.
I’m a guide.
I’m a man.
And this is my story.”
[INSIDE JACKET]

Review
[WC 419]
The Story of Stephen Bishop tells the true story of a slave entrusted to learn the passageways underneath Mammoth Caves. Bishop learned the trails and the rivers better than most. He then led others, many who came from thousands of miles away, under the caves, through the passageways, and then safely back out again. Bishop takes readers through the caves, retelling his life as we walk the passageways under the earth.
entercavvesBought as a slave when a young boy, Bishop’s master told him to “learn the ways of the cave well enough to lead paying folks around inside the deep.” Bishop did lead groups through the caves, but he also made scientific discoveries (“eyeless fish, those crawdads white as bone”) and walked through areas no one else had before or thought possible (the “Bottomless Pit”).

Collier’s collage illustrations show the darkness of the cave system Bishop speaks of and then adds the feeling of claustrophobia to help readers understand the conditions Bishop was required to work in, or rather under. Collier adds symbolism to the text in several areas. Bishop writes his name upon the ceiling, but does so backwards. And he speaks of never leaving the cave, his spirit remaining; nearby is a ghostly figure. But the most striking of Collier’s symbolism is on the side of an ox, where faces are lightly imbedded. The text says, “Because I am bought and sold, same as an ox or mule, bought and sold, along with the land I work.”
facesonoxLift Your Light a Little Higher is the perfect adjunct text for teachers with lesson plans about explorers, Mammoth Caves, or Black History Month. With Stephen Bishop’s contributions omitted from history books, Lift Your Light a Little Higher can begin to fill the void. Homeschooling parents will find Lift Your Light a Little Higher can be an excellent starting point for many conversations, especially during the month of February.
names-on-caveBishop describes his “power” as “Guide—a man able to walk before other men, not behind,” and the cruelty of slavery. Down in the caves, Bishop is “a man, not just a slave.” He found freedom beneath the caves. Bishop learned to read as others wrote their name upon the cave walls. At some point, Bishop wrote his own name in with the others. If you were to see those names today, Bishop’s name would look like any other man’s name; he’s just a man, not a slave, and nothing suggest otherwise. In this sense, Stephen Bishop found his freedom.

LIFT YOUR LIGHT A LITTLE HIGHER: THE STORY OF STEPHEN BISHOP, SLAVE-EXPLORER. Text and illustrations copyright © 2016 by Heather Henson. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Bryan Collier. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Atheneum BYR/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, New York, NY.

AmazonIndie BooksApple BooksSimon and Schuster

Add Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

AWARDS
Eureka Nonfiction Honor Book

.
Reprinted with permission from LIFT YOUR LIGHT A LITTLE HIGHER: THE STORY OF STEPHEN BISHOP, SLAVE-EXPLORER © 2016 by Heather Henson, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Illustrations © 2016 by Bryan Collier.

.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.
Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer
Written by Heather Henson
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Atheneum BYR/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books 9/06/2016
9781481420952

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “#1095 – Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer by Heather Henson and Bryan Collier

Thanks for Your Likes & Comments!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s