Light in the Darkness: A Story about How Slaves Learned in Secret

Light in the Darkness: A Story about How Slaves Learned in Secret

Lesa Cline-Ransome James E. Ransome / Sep 19, 2019

Light in the Darkness A Story about How Slaves Learned in Secret Rosa and her mama go to school together in the dark of night silently afraid that any noise they hear is a patroller on the lookout for escaped slaves Their school is literally a hole in the ground

  • Title: Light in the Darkness: A Story about How Slaves Learned in Secret
  • Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome James E. Ransome
  • ISBN: 9781423134954
  • Page: 443
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Rosa and her mama go to school together in the dark of night, silently, afraid that any noise they hear is a patroller on the lookout for escaped slaves Their school is literally a hole in the ground, where they and other slaves of all ages gather to form letters out of sticks, scratch letters in the dirt, and pronounce their sounds in whispers Young Rosa is eager to leaRosa and her mama go to school together in the dark of night, silently, afraid that any noise they hear is a patroller on the lookout for escaped slaves Their school is literally a hole in the ground, where they and other slaves of all ages gather to form letters out of sticks, scratch letters in the dirt, and pronounce their sounds in whispers Young Rosa is eager to learn the letters and then the words, because after the words comes reading But she must have patience, her mama reminds her, and keep her letters to herself when she s working on the plantation If the Master catches them, it ll mean a whipping one lash for each letter No matter how slow and dangerous the process might be, Rosa is determined to learn, and pass on her learning to others.

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      Published :2018-09-01T06:34:47+00:00

    About "Lesa Cline-Ransome James E. Ransome"

      • Lesa Cline-Ransome James E. Ransome

        Lesa Cline-Ransome James E. Ransome Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Light in the Darkness: A Story about How Slaves Learned in Secret book, this is one of the most wanted Lesa Cline-Ransome James E. Ransome author readers around the world.


    1. What I loved so much about this book was the fact that it showed how much slaves were willing to risk to learn how to read and write. I think sometimes when education is provided to you and it's a norm it can be taken for granted. I'm so grateful that my parents instilled the need for me to focus on getting an education. It has inspired me to continue to learn every day of my life.

    2. Even though it's risky, Rosa and her mother slip out of their beds in the slave quarters during the night to attend school. If the master catches them, they know they will be whipped, and yet, the lure of literacy makes them take those risks. Rosa is eager to start learning how to read, but their teacher, Morris, first uses sticks to form letters and has his students trace the shapes and practice saying them. After coming close to being caught by men looking for slaves in places where they aren' [...]

    3. 1.) Opening: Begin by writing the following quote by Miles Davis on the board and ask students to brainstorm what it could possibly mean. “Knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery.”How can knowledge be a form of being free? What does “ignorance” mean? (Help students arrive at the correct definition.)What is slavery? What does it mean to be a slave? (Help students arrive at the definition: slavery is anytime your choices are taken away. Anytime you have to do something or cannot say [...]

    4. First an acknowledgment ~ I know Lesa Cline-Ransome. Our children attend the same school; we have taught a class together and often visit. That should not, however, prohibit me from trumpeting a book which I believe should be on the shelf of every classroom from kindergarten to college Most of us have read stories of brave sojourners on the figurative train to freedom known as the Underground Railroad. Few of us, however, may be aware of the underground Pit Schools where slaves gathered to learn [...]

    5. 1) Text to self: This book made me think about how lucky I am to have grown up with the expectation to learn. I feel fortunate that I was never deprived of the opportunity to learn to read and learn.2) Bloom's questions:a) When did the slaves go to school? Why?b) Describe what is meant by "they [the slaves] are taking in learning like it is their last breath?c) What would result if the slaves were caught learning to read?d) What motive is there for slaves to learn to read?e) What is your opinion [...]

    6. Do you know why we still need awards like the Coretta Scott King award? Because upon finishing this book, my first thought was "It's a shoe-in for the Coretta Scott King, but there's no way it'll get a Caldecott." Why, though? It's a compelling, FASCINATING story, the art is absolutely stunning, and I see this book having an audience both at school and at home. Highly recommended.I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you or order LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS on IndieB [...]

    7. This books was about a group of slaves who were constantly living in fear of their masters but their strong desire to know how to read. Rosa and her mother run off into the night to a small cave where an individual named Morris holds a small school where he teaches individuals of all ages the letters of the alphabets. They do this almost every night but are always quiet as a mouse in fear of being caught by the patrollers who roam the night. Rosa learns quick and is always eager to go to the nex [...]

    8. This historical fiction book by Lesa Cline-Ransome is a story of a girl named Rosa and her want to learn how to read. Her and her mother risk getting caught by their owner in order to go to the forest and learn how to read. Their teacher is another slave named Morris who knows how to read and now is teaching other people stuck in slavery. Although this book is fictional it shows the struggles of slaves and how they were willing to put themselves at risk in order to learn something new. The illus [...]

    9. Rosa and her mother are in a run down, horrid school filled with other slaves. Rosa has a passion for letters and words and writing. All she wants to do is learn everything, be able to speak words. Her mother knows how dangerous this is if their master finds out and makes Rosa suppress her desire during certain times.I believe this book is wonderful, it is educational as well as beautiful. The illustrations are beyond me, just incredible stroke patterns and the illustrator uses cool colors, due [...]

    10. I like how this book portrayed everything slaves had to go through to learn, and their determination to do so. Facing many obstacles and potential consequences if caught, slaves continued to return time and time again to the light of knowledge, eager to learn. I also enjoyed this story being told through the perspective of a young slave girl. I believe this would be useful in an elementary classroom when talking about slavery in the United States to give students better insight on slave life and [...]

    11. This book is a great way to explain to students how slaves learned how to read in secret, despite the slave codes. The pictures are a great depiction of the story.

    12. Title: Light in the DarknessPrimary1. Reflection: Text to Text, Text to Self, Text to World connection with the book. As and educator, I have a text to self connection with this book, but a text to text comes to mind also. This is a story of a pit school during the periods of slavery. They had dug a deep hole and covered it with branches and leaves to hide it. Rosa, her mother, and other slaves would risk being whipped or even killed to sneak off to the pit school after dark. An educated slave w [...]

    13. Light in the Darkness, the heartbreaking tale of a young slave trying to learn to read, was incredible. Late at night, as Rosa and her mother sneak away to school, they fear for their lives. By day, Rosa memorizes the letters she's learned, until Mama decides it's safe enough to go to school again. I found this story to both break and warm my heart, as I believe education should never make anyone fear death, but the fact that these women were so incredibly brave and risked everything for their e [...]

    14. Why a four star rating?:It was really interesting to read and learn about the pit schools that slaves had. It was something I knew nothing about and found it so inspiring that these slaves risked their lives for learning. I only wish that the book would have offered even more information.Plot Summary:"Light in the Darkness" describes the lengths that slaves went to, to learn how to read and write. Rosa and her mother sneak out of their cabin late at night to attend pit school. A literate slave t [...]

    15. Curricular Connection: I would read this book to 6-8th graders to they can realize how they lucky they are to live during this time, and also how lucky they are to have a free education. I would read it to middle school students because I feel like kids in these grades don’t have the motivation to please their parents, like elementary students do, or the motivation to graduate, like high school students have. So these students are sometimes “stuck”, and do not put forth the effort to learn [...]

    16. Light in the Darkness is mainly about slaves finding their own way of learning and teaching others to read. It starts out with a young girl named Rosa and her mother running to the middle of the fields to gather with other slaves to learn the alphabet and then to read. Every time they had the chance they would go far from the houses and meet up. They all gather to learn the alphabet from Morris. He shows them the sound and what each letter looks like. One day one of the young girls is caught and [...]

    17. Light in the Darkness: A Story about How Slaves Learned in Secret, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome, is a nominee for the 2015-16 South Carolina Picture Book Award.Light in the Darkness is a moving account of how slaves risked their lives to do something that most of us take for granted. They stole away in the dead of night, always looking over their shoulders for patrollers, to meet in pit schools. These schools, often nothing more than holes in the ground cover [...]

    18. Rosa and her Mama are slaves in America when slaves were still legal. Both Rosa and her Mama are illiterate, striving and pining for a better education. Rosa’s mama sneaks them out at night occasionally to attend an underground school, meant for teaching illiterate slaves how to read. This story is about Rosa and her Mama learning how to read in secret. It highlights how dangerous these actions were as well as how rare it was for slaves to have the opportunity to learn to read.This story would [...]

    19. Light in the Darkness by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome is a historical fiction story about Rosa. She is a young girl who lives during times of slavery. Rosa longs to learn her letters of the alphabet. After learning her letters comes words, then comes full on reading. However, Rosa must be careful to not get caught sneaking out in the middle of the night with Mama to learn. In order to learn they must get to the hole in the ground before the slave patrollers find out wha [...]

    20. This make me feel sad. A mother and daughter want to learning the alphabet. Because white people against to the black people must be slave work! They really want to going to the school and learning words. The white people can't let to them go in school is illegal! So they going to under grass around then make the room like be classroom and no technology. The black people inside the under grass like classroom then go ahead learning. that's their ideas!

    21. Text to World- This book would be a great story to read to students prior to taking a field trip to Mayhew Cabin and John Brown’s Cave in Nebraska City, a stop on the Underground Railroad. It will allow the students to gain an understanding of a slave child’s life.Bloom’s Questions1. When did this story take place? 2. Summarize the main events in the story.3. Explain why Mama waited so many days to return to the school after some slaves had been caught returning to the plantation.4. What d [...]

    22. Light in the Darkness by Lesa Cline-Ransome is the story of how a young slave girl named Rosa and her mom learn how to read. They risk their lives by sneaking out of their quarters at night to attend a "pit school". Slaves dug large pits in the middle of the woods and hold school there. I really liked this book. It's a beautiful story about the value of education. The slaves craved to be able to read and write. It gave them hope that one day they would be free and would be able to use their skil [...]

    23. "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." Frederick DouglassA picture book about "pit schools" that developed in the south as a way for slaves to gather at night and teach reading to one another. Pit schools were holes dug in the ground and covered with branches to hide their location. The story is told by Rosa, a little slave girl whose mother takes her to a pit school to learn how to read, despite the danger of what would happen if they were discovered. Even when they're nearly disco [...]

    24. This was a fascinating book of how determined slaves were to learn how to read and the risks they took to get an education. They would often meet in pit schools, which were literally pits covered by branches, etc to mislead patrollers about the existence of a hole there. The teacher would make letters out of things like sticks and the slaves would try to learn the letters and sounds associated with the letters. While Rosa's determination to learn these letters was clear, what wasn't clear was wh [...]

    25. The story is compelling. As an avid reader of Civil War history I have long been aware of the perils that slaves risked in learning to read. I had not previously heard of "pit schools" which the authors note describes as "large holes dug deep in the ground and disguised with sticks and branches." The mere fact that slave owners forbid them from learning to read gives a clear indication on how powerful the written word can be. Slaves risked beatings and death if caught learning to read and yet th [...]

    26. What a wonderful story! I can read this picture book over and over again! In this story slaves would go to great lengths to learn to read. They would risk their lives, "trading injury and sometimes even death" to learn to read and write. The slaves would go to pit schools, secret school in the ground to learn to read and write. How we take reading and writing for granted! How we take school and learning, here in America for granted. How our children take these wonderful opportunities for granted [...]

    27. I have another book by this author/illustrator duo on my to read list that I haven't been able to get at the library yet, so when I saw this one there, I snatched it up.Wonderful for black history month, I think this would work for any elementary age. It's a story of Rosa and her mother leaving the plantation in the middle of the night to learn how to read. Very dangerous since slave masters did not want their slaves to learn and slaves were often punished for learning. The author did some backg [...]

    28. This book is my Text-to-Text Connection. Light in the Darkness is about how slaves set up schools to teach themselves to learn to read. I really enjoy history and am amazed by the effort that the slaves put into learning to read. The book I connect this to is Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass. Both books revel the effort that the slaves put in to learning to read. In Light in the Darkness, Rosa’s mother sneaks her off the plantation at night so that she can atte [...]

    29. This was an interesting (and poignant) book. This dramatized first-person narration is told from the point of view of Rosa, a young slave girl, who is learning letters of the alphabet in a pit school, a hidden hole covered with branches, late at night. The haunting, luminous watercolors in muted color tones impart the magic of learning to read but are balanced with the fear of severe beatings, if caught, for each letter of the alphabet. As Frederick Douglass stated, “Once you learn to read, yo [...]

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