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Download Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans Audiobook, by Kadir Nelson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,123 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kadir Nelson Narrator: TBD , Debbie Allen Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9780062125255
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The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country.

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation's most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an "Everywoman," an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, Heart and Soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “As in We Are the Ship Nelson knits together the nation’s proudest moments with its most shameful, taking on the whole of African-American history. He handles this vast subject with easy grace. [Nelson’s] jaw-dropping portraits radiate determination and strength. A tremendous achievement.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Nelson…adds to his notable titles with this powerful view of African American history.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Provocative and powerful, this book offers a much-needed perspective for individuals of all ages seeking to understand America’s past and present.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “The dramatic oil paintings heighten the dignity of this story, whether they are of well-known historical figures, common folk or landscape…This intimate narrative makes the stories accessible to young readers and powerfully conveys how personal this history feels for many African-Americans.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Winner of the Audie Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 2/17/2014

    " Read to play along with School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theophilus (Theo) | 2/12/2014

    " Simply told, easy to follow for young readers, but sticks to real history. Wonderful art work throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 2/11/2014

    " WOW! I've only skimmed the pages and viewed the artwork, reading just a little bit, but know in my heart that this is a mighty powerful book - not just for African Americans, but for all Americans. A fictional narrative that flows like honey through our nation's history, accentuated and punctuated with astoundingly expressive oil paintings of historical figures and ordinary citizens. This seems to be a beautiful marriage of oral storytelling and historical fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Harding | 2/7/2014

    " Coretta Scott King Author Winner, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. This is a beautiful book. The author interviewed many his elder family members and completed a lot of research to go along with the narrative. He located family photos of his slave ancestors standing in the fields for a photograph. The artwork in the book are oil paintings, some based on these photographs and all on the African American experience. The story is written as if a older person is sharing the tales of his/her grandparents as the history is told. My impression is that the story is "clean" so that children won't be traumatized by the horror of the reality of slavery. The abuse of slaves is discussed as if by a grandmother talking to her young grandchildren. Children writing reports for school will find plenty of material, artists will enjoy the artwork, adults may learn from this book too. (I know I did!) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kath | 1/19/2014

    " This story is detailed, and beautifully illustrated showing the progression of a family with roots in slavery. Fabulous story that if understood accurately, is a portion of the author/illustrator's family history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Naomi King | 1/19/2014

    " Beautifully illustrated, very well told, excellent for middle readers and reading aloud with just under middle readers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 1/1/2014

    " Beautifully illustrated book that is packed with information about the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans starting with the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement. Great resource! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Edrington | 12/16/2013

    " This book is beautiful. It spans the history of the past 400 years. I would use this along with my Social Studies book to add information and give more visuals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liana | 12/7/2013

    " I heard about this on a 2011 kids' book list on NPR. It was an incredible summary of the history of African Americans since the birth of this country. Artwork is beautiful, and in written in a way that kids and adults can understand. A short book that says a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 8/21/2013

    " Kadir Nelson's Heart and Soul just moved to the top of my Sibert Medal shortlist. It is the most distinguished and powerful informational book I've read this year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 3/7/2013

    " Excellent book! Great for all levels and is on a lower reading level for the upper grades. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma | 5/30/2012

    " Of course, this wasn't a real exiting book but I enjoyed it and learned a lot. It made me sad to be reminded of slavery but I think that overall message of the book was really sweet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Lee | 5/14/2012

    " Gorgeous illustrations and a very readable first-person text give us the story of America through African American eyes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 3/25/2012

    " Incredible illustrations! A great story about history of African Americans and their struggles for freedom and equality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alyson | 2/4/2012

    " A great story, great subject and amazing illustrations from Kadir Nelson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia Walter | 1/1/2012

    " Glowing paintings and colloquial language tell the story of this country from the perspective of African Americans. The narrator, a fictional Black woman, uses family stories to personalize historical events and movements. Required reading for all American children and the people who love them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia | 10/26/2011

    " Glowing paintings and colloquial language tell the story of this country from the perspective of African Americans. The narrator, a fictional Black woman, uses family stories to personalize historical events and movements. Required reading for all American children and the people who love them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 10/19/2011

    " This book was amazing! The pictures and text are so wonderful. I could hear an elderly African-American grandmother as she told the story to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nelson does an absolutely amazing job! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 10/19/2011

    " Beautifully Done! I see a Coretta Scott King award in this book's future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marci | 10/17/2011

    " An awesome book for African American history. Remember this one for Black history month. Awesome illustrations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed | 10/13/2011

    " A handsomely illustrated, concise chronicle of African American history narrated in the voice of an "Everywoman." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 10/3/2011

    " If the art don't sell you, the stories will. Outstanding book! Recommended for ages 9 and up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 6/2/2011

    " Kadir Nelson's Heart and Soul just moved to the top of my Sibert Medal shortlist. It is the most distinguished and powerful informational book I've read this year. "

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About the Author
Author Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is the author and illustrator of numerous award-winning picture books, including Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange, and Just the Two of Us by Will Smith. He lives in San Diego, California.