Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth

Looking to learn more about Juneteenth and what it means to be free? Look no further than Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of June. This fascinating book tells the story of Opal Lee, a 12-year-old girl who fought for national recognition of Juneteenth. With stunning illustrations and an engaging narrative, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about this important day in history.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-From the award-winning author of Memphis, Martin, and The Mountain Top comes a biography of Opal Lee. The book opens to a Juneteenth celebration with music, food, and community, where Great-Grand Dear, Opal Lee, tells stories to the young people about the history of Juneteenth. “Freedom, hope, and JOY DIVINE! Juneteenth means it’s FREEDOM TIME!” Through illustrative and truthful text, Duncan rings the celebration of Juneteenth, relating stories of the Emancipation Proclamation, the freeing of enslaved people in Texas, and Lee’s experience with Jim Crow, racial violence, and activism. The narrative is fast-paced, with great emphasis on freedom and community. Bobo (Grace Byers’s I Am Enough) dedicates her detail to the faces and people of this picture book. Bobo varies format from page to page to match the storytelling nature of the text, that includes adult Lee looking back on her memories. Full bleed illustrations bring readers back to the present Juneteenth celebration. The back matter includes a recipe for Juneteenth “Red Punch” strawberry lemonade, a Juneteenth time line, a brief biography of Opal Lee, and research sources. VERDICT A good choice for public and school libraries.-Ellen Sulzyckiα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Entertaining, informative, inspiring, beautifully illustrated and thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ in presentation, ‘Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free’ is unequivocally and unreservedly recommended as a high priority addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library Black History, American Biography, and Holiday Themed picture book collections. — Midwest Book Review

From the Publisher

Opal Lee and What it Means to Be Free

The True Story of Opal Lee, the Grandmother of Juneteenth.

Opal Lee


Opal Lee

Opal Lee

Meet Opal Lee

Learn the history of Juneteenth

Understand the power of speaking up.

Remember that no one is free unless everyone is free

A must have for every child’s library

Opal Lee young girl reading

Opal Lee open book

kids reading Opal Lee

Alice Faye Duncan

About Alice Faye Duncan

Alice Faye Duncan is a National Board Certified Teacher, who writes for young learners. Memory is her motivation. She writes to help children remember important moments from African American history. Her books are celebrated for vivid imagery and lyrical texts that sound like music. Alice’s most popular titles include A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks; Just Like a Mama; Honey Baby Sugar Child; and Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop, which received a 2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Medal. Alice lives in Memphis, Tennessee, where at a young age, her mother nurtured her writing talent with prayer, poetry books, and praise.

Keturah A Bobo

About Keturah A. Bobo

Keturah A. Bobo is an artist and New York Times bestselling illustrator known for creating vibrant images that are relatable and distinguishable. She is passionate about creating art that inspires, uplifts, and advocates for her community. Keturah has received notable praises for her colorful illustrative style that brings the story to life and resonates with the viewer. She graduated with a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her family of entrepreneurs.

SKU: 1400231256 Category:
Texas Bookstore