The Amazing Age of John Roy LynchSpring 2015 Picture Books
In 1847, John Roy Lynch was born a slave on Tacony Plantation in Louisiana. His father, who was planning to buy John Roy, his brother, and his mother, was an Irish overseer on the plantation, but he died before this plan was bought to fruition. So John Roy was sold to serve as a house slave on another plantation in Natchez, Mississippi. But when he offended the woman he was supposed to serve, he was sent back to Tacony to slave in the cotton fields.
Lynch was a teenager when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Act in 1863, but chose to stay in the south during the years of "Reconstruction" (1863 - 1877) educating himself and entered public service, first as a Justice of the Peace, then as speaker of the House of Representatives in Mississippi in 1872 and, later that same year, a member of the United States Congress.
With a beige palette, the flat, mixed media illustrations set a calm tone for the book. The illustrator's signature humorous style of depicting characters with large heads and elongated small bodies is perfect for this story and softens the depiction of evil events.