In the Time of the Drums (Paperback)
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, American Library Association (ALA)
Choices, Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, National Council for the Social Studies / Children's Book Council
Mentu, an enslaved child, learns about the culture of his people from his grandmother, Twi in this Gullah folk tale of an insurrection at Teakettle Creek.
It used to be that huge ships often landed near Teakettle Creek bringing African people to work on the island's plantations. Some of the Africans who live on the island made goatskin drums and play music to remind themselves of home. Young Mentu was island born, but grandmother Twi had come from Africa, and she longs for home. Thanks to Twi, Mentu learns to play the drums and to respect the strength of the music.
One day a new ship carrying Africans docked at Teakettle Creek sends out the beat of drums--a roar from the Africans inside the ship who are pounding for their homeland. The beat calls to Twi, urging her to seek freedom. But the only place for freedom is in the murky waters of Teakettle Creek. Now Grandmother Twi must choose between the drum's lure and the island that young Mentu calls home.
The recipient of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award in 2000, this spellbinding story is now back in print. In the Time of the Drums is an extraordinary Gullah tale of mysticism, intrigue, strength, and courage that will leave readers of all ages spellbound.