Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters

Front Cover
Scholastic, Oct 1, 2002 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 68 pages
5 Reviews
The year is 1859, and it's Christmastime on a Virginia Plantation. The slaves are setting up the Big House -- where their masters live -- for the festivities. The Big House is filled with warmth, colorful decorations, and delicious food... but there is talk of war and a sense that times may be changing. In the quarters -- where the slaves live conditions are poor, dirty, and cold, but the slaves are filled with hope for better times ahead, and they sing songs of freedom.

Moving deftly between two worlds, this beautifully illustrated book by award-winning authors Patricia and Fredrick McKassick is a rich historical tale as well as a holiday treat.

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Review: Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters

User Review  - carrietracy - Goodreads

An excellent book but hard to figure the audience - far more focused on the political climate of the era - so fascinating. Most likely for educational settings. Read full review

Review: Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters

User Review  - AnnieM - Goodreads

This is what Everyone should read. It tells the two sides of the story. You get the glamor and grandeur of the big house. You also get to see the quarters and how they celebrated the same holiday. The illustrations add that extra something to the story. Add this to your reading list. Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Patricia C. McKissack was born on August 9, 1944 in Smyrna, Tennessee. She received a bachelor's degree of arts in English from Tennessee State University in 1964 and a master's degree in early childhood literature and media programming from Webster University in 1975. After college, she worked as a junior high English teacher and a children's book editor. Since the 1980's, she and her husband Frederick L. McKissack have written over 100 books together. Most of their titles are biographies with a strong focus on African-American themes for young readers. Their early 1990s biography series, Great African Americans included volumes on Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. Their other works included Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. Over their 30 years of writing together, the couple won many awards including the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award for Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters, the Jane Addams Peace Award, and the 1998 Virginia Hamilton Award for making a contribution to the field of multicultural literature for children and adolescents, as well as the NAACP Image Award for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?. She also writes fiction on her own. She won the 1993 Newberry Honor Book Award for The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural and the Caldecott Medal for Mirandy and Brother Wind.

Brenda Niall is a former Associate Professor of English at Monash University. John Thompson is Chief Manuscripts Librarian at the National Library of Australia.

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