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The Year We Learned to Fly

The Year We Learned to Fly

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Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López's highly anticipated companion to their #1 New York Times bestseller The Day You Begin illuminates the power in each of us to face challenges with confidence.

On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother’s advice: “Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours. Lift your arms, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and believe in a thing. Somebody somewhere at some point was just as bored you are now.” And before they know it, their imaginations lift them up and out of their boredom. Then, on a day full of quarrels, it’s time for a trip outside their minds again, and they are able to leave their anger behind. This precious skill, their grandmother tells them, harkens back to the days long before they were born, when their ancestors showed the world the strength and resilience of their beautiful and brilliant minds. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art celebrate the extraordinary ability to lift ourselves up and imagine a better world.
“Two Black siblings use their imaginations to escape their immediate surroundings throughout the seasons in this picture book by previous collaborators Woodson and López (The Day You Begin). . . . Learning to soar 'from the people who came before,' the children are told both that their feelings have been experienced by others, and that “nobody can ever cuff/ your brilliant and beautiful mind,” a lesson they pass on in turn. Energetic layered multimedia illustrations accompany the poetically repeating lines, vividly depicting winged escapes over images of a slave ship and contemporary real-world high-rises.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
 ”A narrative rich with literary and visual symbolism, simultaneously simple and profound…With this book, Woodson and Lopez create a path that children may follow as they gain confidence and imagine a way forward no matter what challenges arise." —Booklist, starred review
Publication Date: January 4, 2022
by Jaqueline Woodson; Illustrated by Rafael López
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