Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer

Heather Henson, illus. by Bryan Collier. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2095-2
In the middle of the 19th century, Stephen Bishop, an enslaved African-American man, gained attention for the subterranean tours he conducted of Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. Writing in the imagined voice of Bishop himself, Henson (Grumpy Grandpa) allows readers to embark on one such tour as Bishop describes the shadowy environs of the cave, the cruel reality of slavery, and the power inherent in his role as “Guide—a man able to walk before other men, not behind.” Collier’s (Trombone Shorty) collages strongly evoke the dark, claustrophobic confines of the cave system, as well as haunting moments of both strength and injustice (silhouettes of human faces appear along the flank of an ox, emphasizing the status of slaves as property). Henson’s poetic narrative is lyrical, but at times vague; a helpful closing note expands on what little is known of Bishop’s life. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016
Release date: 09/06/2016
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 40 pages - 978-1-4814-2096-9
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