Eureka! Book Detail

Black Hands, White Sails

Publication Information
Author:  McKissack, Patricia, & McKissack, Frederick Illustrator:  
Title:  Black Hands, White Sails Date:  1999
Publisher:  Scholastic City:  New York
ISBN, paperback:  0-590-48313-7 ISBN, hardback:  

Recommended audience:
Family:   Young Adult:   Yes

General Information:
Book Type(s):    nonfiction

GED Descriptor(s):    social studies| science

This book is mostly about the Atlantic whaling industry and the contributions of African American whalers. But it's also about abolition, the Underground Railroad, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Civil War. And it's about U.S. economics in the 18th and 19 centuries. An appendix about types of whales, a timeline, and an index conclude this fascinating book. (Coretta Scott King Award winner)

Teaching Ideas:
Many excerpts can be used to teach nonfiction comprehension strategies. Map work can accompany the descriptions of expeditions. The Civil War/ abolition connections are worth exploring. Students may want to select a person or issue for further inquiry. Other topics for discussion/ writing may include the economics of whaling, reasons for the abolitionist sentiment in New England seaports, the role of Quakers. Frederick Douglass is mentioned briefly, as is Moby Dick. Point of view study is possible; students may want to take on the perspectives of a variety of characters (e.g., the Quakers, black freedmen, the escaped slave, the captain). The book may promote exploration of why people keep journals.

Keywords: select any link below for a list of resources which also have that keyword
bullet Ethnic Groups > African-American
bullet Geography > economics
bullet History > region > U.S. history
bullet History > topic > war > Civil War > abolition
bullet History > topic > war > Civil War > Fugitive Slave Act
bullet History > topic > war > Civil War > Underground Railroad
bullet Literature and Language > literature > Moby Dick
bullet Geography > environment > ocean
bullet Work > careers

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