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Christopher OluFela Series Review by Destiny Mawson

L.E. Chavous (Hammond Jupiter)
EOTO Publishing
PO Box 533832
Orlando, FL 32853
(301) 535-2213

The Christopher OluFela Series from EOTO Publishing strives to educate individuals on the rich African American history. I reviewed four titles within the series: Dreams of My Ancestors, Meet Jim Crow, Together We Stand, and 100 Roses. While the titles I reviewed were not sequential, they are all stand-alone titles.

Dreams of My Ancestors by L.E. Chavous is written as though he is having a conversation with his son, Christopher, about the history of their African ancestors. Chavous gives many details about West Africa and its culture. It is a highly informative book and would make a fantastic addition to a unit study of West Africa or the history of slaves in America.

I felt like the conversation piece was a bit of a missed opportunity with this book. The author begins by addressing his son and continues to use the son’s name throughout the book. However, it is only at the very end where the son enters to ask two questions. This makes the rest of the book more of a long informational monologue. I felt he either needed to simply make it a book about the ancestral home of his ancestors or incorporate the “voice” of the son more in using it to guide the book along.

Overall, though, it was a useful resource book about where slaves in America originated from.

Meet Jim Crow talks about the dark period in America’s history after slavery was abolished but blacks were still not considered equal individuals. Chavous does a thorough job at really explaining a complicated era of history so that kids can understand. I did wish that it had a table of contents. While you could just flip through the book, it would have been helpful to know that information about The Red Summer began on page 35, etc. The book was well done though, information-wise. This is a book I would recommend being incorporated into a history study on slavery. There is easily enough information contained in the book for a unit study on Jim Crow laws.

Together We Stand highlights both black and white individuals who played important roles in ending slavery in America. It also discusses certain historical events, such as the Emancipation Proclamation that played important roles. At the beginning of the book, there is an alphabetical list of all the individuals discussed for easy access later. This layout makes it easy to use as a reference book or to pick an individual or two at a time to learn more about.

100 Roses is a book dedicated to African American women in history who despite enduring sometimes horrific conditions, still tried to make a positive change in the world around them. This book also has a table of contents in the beginning so you can easily look up individual women to learn about. 100 Roses is more of a short biography of each woman. If you want more than a brief synopsis, you will need to do more research on your own. However, it is a great starting point for picking an influential African American woman to study or simply to be more familiar with who some of those women are. My kids would just pick this one up to browse through.

We received these books to review during Black History Month and they made a terrific addition to our studies. The books are all well researched and it was nice to have so much information in one place. I did feel the illustrations could use improvement as the proportions were not always accurate, leaving some pictures looking stretched or squished to fit the page. But, while they may not have been the best quality, they were colorful, and they were needed to break up the amount of text.

I would recommend adding them to your homeschool library and incorporating them into your history studies.

--Product Review by Destiny Mawson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2020