The People Could Fly

The People Could Fly

Hamilton, V. (2004). The People Could Fly. New York, NY: Random House Children’s Book.

Category: Folk Literature/Multicultural/Award Winning Book (Coretta Scott King Award, Best Illustrated Children’s Book)

Synopsis of Book: “The People Could Fly” is one of the mythical old tales in the tradition of “things that never were” and has been told as soon as the slaves came to America.  The tale is about long ago in Africa, some people knew magic that enabled them to fly.  However, when they were brought to America as slaves, they forgot the magic.  Everyone except one old man.  When he couldn’t tolerate the suffering anymore, he whispered the magic words and one by one, the slaves rose up and flew to freedom.

Use in Classroom: The illustrations and words used in this book paint a picture of how slavery was for African Americans.  Using this book while discussing the civil war in Social Studies would help the students develop empathy for the slaves and know how life was for them.  Symbolism is also used throughout the story and that could be discussed with your students.  The wings/flying in this story symbolize freedom and this was shown when the African Americans had to shed their wings because they were no longer free.

Below is a Wordle of the entire book The People Could Fly

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