Last week, kidlit blogger John (Mr.) Schu hosted a cover reveal for Chris Barton and Don Tate’s forthcoming picture book biography The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch. (Thanks, Mr. Schu!)

The cover reveal seemed to leave librarian and Fuse Eight blogger Betsy Bird eager for more, though — a feeling that she shared with author Chris Barton on Twitter . . .

John Roy Lynch tweets (2)

. . . and that he then shared with us.

John Roy Lynch tweets (3)

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to reveal the book in its entirety even to reviewers (sorry!) until advance F&Gs arrive in January.

While we wait, though, we can’t resist sharing a little about this amazing book — and a sneak peek at some of its amazing interior illustrations — here on EerdWord. (Happy authors, happy life. Isn’t that how the saying goes?)


The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch

The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch
Written by Chris Barton
Illustrated by Don Tate

John Roy Lynch spent most of his childhood as a slave in Mississippi, but all of that changed with the Emancipation Proclamation. Suddenly people like John Roy could have paying jobs and attend school. While many people in the South were unhappy with the social change, John Roy thrived in the new era. He was appointed to serve as justice of the peace and was eventually elected into the United States Congress.

This biography, with its informative backmatter and splendid illustrations, gives readers an in-depth look at the Reconstruction period through the life of one of the first African-American congressmen.

John Roy Lynch 1

John Roy Lynch had an Irish Father and an enslaved mother. By the law of the South before the Civil War, that made John Roy and his brothers half Irish and all slave.

John Roy Lynch 2

John Roy was just a toddler in 1849 when his father took sick and died. . . .

John Roy might have been free by the time he was two. But he was not. Precious time — years of would-be freedom — were lost.

John Roy Lynch 3

[John Roy] had the choice to stay or go, and he chose to stay. Natchez was his home. Fellow former slaves reveled in the promises of freedom — family, faith, free labor, land, education. John Roy wanted to be part of that.

John Roy Lynch 4

John Roy would not be silenced. This was not who America was, he said. . . .

When every man, woman, and child can feel and know that his, her, and their rights are fully protected by the strong arm of a generous and grateful Republic, then we can all truthfully say that this beautiful land of ours, over which the Star Spangled Banner so triumphantly waves, is, in truth and in fact, the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Forthcoming in April 2015, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch is available for preorder now.