“Halie” Jackson grew up in poverty on the levees of New Orleans, hunting for alligators for food along the Mississippi River with her brother, Peter. But every Sunday young Mahalia sang proudly in the church choir, the youngest member at age five. She left school after eighth grade and worked as a maid to help support her family. However, her passion for singing her special brand of music known as “gospel” never waned.
Praised by parents, teachers, and historians, the Young Patriots Series is an ideal way to sweep today’s young listeners into history. The everyday details of family life, the time period in which they lived, what they wore, and the challenges they faced in school create a window through which children can access history. The early evidence of character, responsibility, ability, and courage showcase situations to which every child can relate.
Montrew Dunham is the author of James Whitcomb Riley, Young Poet and Langston Hughes, Young Black Poet. He lives in Downers Grove, Illinois.