Ithaca's cooperatively-owned independent bookstore since 2011
215 N Cayuga Street Dewitt Mall · Ithaca, NY · 607-273-8246
This historical fiction picture book reveals the unknown story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an African-American teacher who risked her life to teach others during slavery.
Born into slavery around 1821 in Petersburg, Virginia, Lilly Ann Granderson secretly learned to read and write from her master's children. Lilly Ann read everything she could get her hands on, and through newspapers, she learned of places in the North where slavery had been abolished. She longed to have that freedom too.
As Lilly Ann's reading and writing skills improved, she shared her knowledge with others by starting a school. After toiling for their masters all day, Lilly Ann's students would slip nervously into the night to attend her "midnight" school. Every noise reminded them of the painful punishment they faced if they were found out. But the students were willing to risk any danger for the chance at an education. Over the years, hundreds of enslaved men and women learned to read and write under their teacher's patient guidance.
Midnight Teacher is an inspiring testament to an amazing instructor and pioneer in education. Lilly Ann Granderson's steadfast courage in the face of adversity provides an inspiring model for all who attempt to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.