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My Name Is James Madison Hemings by Jonah Winter

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This is a New York Times notable Book and a Junior Library Guild Selection. Recommended for children 5-9, this charming, yet thought-provoking and important, picture book tells the story of a slave born to Sally Heming and fathered by Thomas Jefferson. James Madison Hemings grew up at Jefferson’s plantation, Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia, but – unlike his mother – was freed upon Jefferson’s death and moved to Ohio where he worked as a carpenter, a trade he had learned from his uncle at Monticello. In 1873 he was interviewed by a newspaper and was the only one of has siblings to publicly address Jefferson’s paternity. The author of this picture book acknowledges the work of historian Annette Gordon-Reed in illuminating the Heming family. "Through a poignant first-person monologue, Winter imagines the peculiar upbringing of Virginia slave James Madison Hemings, son of Thomas Jefferson and his enslaved mistress, Sally Hemings.”—Bulletin, starred review. "This gentle, emotional book is a reminder that many presidents’ biographies have distressing aspects . . . . A simple but historically solid introduction to some of the moral crises slavery presented for our nation." —The New York Times. Both the author and illustrator of this book have received multiple awards for their many picture books. Jonah Winter is a Texan who has also published poetry and specializes in biographical picture books. Terry Widener is from Oklahoma.


New York: Schwarz & Wade Books/Penguin Random House, 2016. 32 un-numbered pages, 9” X 11.5.” Hardback in dust jacket.