What Is Juneteenth?

Penguin Workshop. (What Was?). Apr. 2022. 112p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780593384701; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593384695.
Gr 3-6–A thorough introduction to an American holiday. Covering the past and the present of Juneteenth, this addition to the “What Was?” series is informative and entertaining. On June 19, 1865, word made it to Galveston, TX—slavery had ended and was now illegal in the United States. The joyous celebrations of the formerly enslaved people of Galveston would go on to become the foundations of an important annual observance for the people of the United States. The text covers the journey of this holiday, from its origins to the fight for national recognition. Following the familiar “Who HQ” structure, the book is broken into chapters, including illustrations and asides. The text is thorough, but readable. Chapters cover a general history narrative, while occasional asides focus more on individual stories, helping to break up the text and keep readers engaged. Illustrations are charming, yet remain respectful to the subject matter and the people portrayed. A time line, bibliography, and additional photographs make this a definitive title for this subject.
VERDICT Essential for every holiday book collection.

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