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Tar Beach

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Tar Beach
About the Author:
Faith Ringgold was born in Harlem, but now divides her time between New Jersey and La Jolla, California. She is a professor of fine art at the University of California at San Diego, where she teaches for half of the year.

An artist of international renown, Faith is best known for her story quilts -- works that combine painting, quilted fabric, and storytelling.

Faith's first book for children, Tar Beach, was a Caldecott Honor Book, a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, a Reading Rainbow featured selection, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and the recipient of numerous other honors, including a Parents Choice Gold Award.

Faith is married to Burdette Ringgold and has two daughters, Michele and Barbara, and three granddaughters, Faith, Teddy and Martha.
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"I will always remember when the stars fell down around me and lifted me up above the George Washington Bridge."

Cassie Louise Lightfoot, eight years old in 1939, has a dream: to be free to go wherever she wants for the rest of her life. One night, up on "tar beach" --the rooftop of her family's Harlem apartment building--her dream comes true. The stars lift her up, and she flies over the city. She claims the buildings as her own--even the union building, so her father won't have to worry anymore about not being allowed to join just because his father was not a member. As Cassie learns, anyone can fly. "All you need is somewhere to go you can't get to any other way. The next thing you know, you're flying above the stars."

This magical story resonates with a universal wish. Originally written by Faith Ringgold for her story quilt of the same name, Tar Beach is a seamless weaving of fiction, autobiography, and African-American history and literature.
Details
  • Ages 5–8
  • Paperback
  • 9 1/5" x 12"
  • 32 pages
  • 32 color illustrations
  • Dragonfly Books, 1991
  • ISBN: 978-0-517-88544-4
Editorial Reviews
  • FINALIST - Caldecott Honor Book (1992)
  • WINNER - Caldecott Honor Book (1992)
  • WINNER - Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award (1992)
  • WINNER - Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book (1992)
  • WINNER - National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) (1992)
  • WINNER - Booklist Books for Youth Editors' Choice (1991)
  • WINNER - Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book (1991)
  • WINNER - Horn Book Fanfare (1991)
  • SUBMITTED - Library of Congress Children's Books of the Year (1991)
  • WINNER - Library of Congress Children's Books of the Year (1991)
  • SUBMITTED - New York Times Best Illustrated Book (1991)
  • WINNER - New York Times Best Illustrated Book (1991)
  • WINNER - New York Times Notable Book (1991)
  • WINNER - Reading Rainbow Feature Books (1991)
  • SUBMITTED - School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (1991)
  • WINNER - School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (1991)
  • WINNER - National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) (1992)
  • WINNER - Booklist Books for Youth Editors' Choice (1991)
  • WINNER - Horn Book Fanfare (1991)
  • WINNER - New York Times Notable Book (1991)
  • WINNER - Reading Rainbow Feature Books (1991)
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