Illustrator: Yvonne Buchanan
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Year: 2007 (paperback)
Concepts: slavery, human resources
Review: Cassandra has recently moved to Texas and she wonders when the state will feel more like home. Little does she know that this particular day, June 19, will introduce her to a new holiday she has not celebrated before. Delicious smells in the air, an enormous picnic basket filled with food, a visit from Aunt Bet, and a new dress to wear: what is all the excitement about? Cassandra soon learns that this day, a legal holiday, commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement by Union Army soldiers in Texas of the abolition of slavery, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
The festivities help Cassandra imagine the joy that the freed slaves experienced on that important day, and help her to feel a stronger connection with her new home state. With its lively text and warm illustrations, Juneteenth Jamboree provides a useful opportunity to introduce children to a holiday they may know less about, and to talk about why it took more than two years for the Emancipation Proclamation to be enforced in Texas.
Review by: The Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children