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Welcome to my blog! My name is Kim and I write young adult paranormal, mysteries, and thrillers. This blog enables me to share the two things I love: Books and the craft of writing.

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A powerful portrait of a Black family tree: KIN Book Review

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the KIN by Carole Boston Weatherford & Jeffery Boston Weatherford Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post about a powerful portrait of a Black family tree and make sure to enter the giveaway!

Book Tour KIN

Book KIN

About The Book:

Title: KIN: Rooted in Hope

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford & Jeffery Boston Weatherford

Pub. Date: September 19, 2023

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 208

A powerful portrait of a Black family tree shaped by enslavement and freedom, rendered in searing poems by acclaimed author Carole Boston Weatherford and stunning art by her son Jeffery Boston Weatherford. I call their names: Abram Alice Amey Arianna Antiqua I call their names: Isaac Jake James Jenny Jim Every last one, property of the Lloyds, the state’s preeminent enslavers. Every last one, with a mind of their own and a story that ain’t yet been told. Till now. Carole and Jeffery Boston Weatherford’s ancestors are among the founders of Maryland. Their family history there extends more than three hundred years. Still, as with the genealogical searches of many African Americans with roots in slavery, their family tree can only be traced back five generations before going dark. And so from scraps of history, Carole and Jeffery have conjured the voices of their kin, creating an often painful but ultimately empowering story of who their people were in a breathtaking book that is at once deeply personal yet all too universal. Carole’s poems capture voices ranging from her ancestors to Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman to the plantation house and land itself that connects them all. Jeffery’s evocative illustrations help carry the story from the first mention of a forebear listed as property in a 1781 ledger to his and his mother’s homegoing trip to Africa in 2016. Shaped by loss, erasure, and ultimate reclamation, this is the story of not only Carole and Jeffery’s family but of countless other Black families in America.


My Review:


KIN by Carole Boston Weatherford is a profoundly moving and important literary work that delves into the history of a black family's lineage, chronicling the hardships, injustices, and indomitable spirit of their ancestors. The book, with its exquisite poems and captivating artwork by Jeffery Boston Weatherford, is a testament to the resilience and strength of a community that endured unimaginable suffering under the yoke of slavery.

Illustrations from KIN by Jeffery Boston Weatherford

My initial reaction upon reading KIN was one of feeling like an imposter, as though I had intruded into the Weatherford family's private history. The narrative is so intimate and personal that it's as if I had visited their home and borrowed their family Bible to immerse myself in their heritage. However, this feeling of intrusion serves as a testament to Weatherford's ability to draw readers into their family tree, making the experiences of their ancestors palpable and deeply affecting.

This book may not be the typical young adult fare that many would eagerly pick up and devour, but it is a literary masterpiece deserving of recognition akin to a Pulitzer Prize. Carole Boston Weatherford's writing is poignant, and her words are elegantly woven into a narrative that feels like a eulogy for a bygone era, paying homage to those who suffered and endured.

Diagram from KIN

The heart of KIN lies in the history of the Weatherford family's connection to the Lloyd Family and Wye House, where their ancestors were enslaved. The book sheds light on the lives of individuals like Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent figures in American history, who emerged from the shackles of slavery to become a beacon of hope and change. The inclusion of Weatherford's great-great-grandfather, Isaac Cooper, who served in the U.S. Colored Troops, parallels the story of the movie "Glory" and the sacrifices made by African Americans during the Civil War.

As an educator and parent, I wholeheartedly believe that KIN should be required reading in history classes across the nation. It not only provides an invaluable perspective on African-American history but also resonates deeply with the broader narrative of American history. The poems contained within this book are both powerful and lyrical, allowing readers to connect emotionally with the characters and their experiences. Jeffery Boston Weatherford's artwork complements the words perfectly, serving as a visual melody that vividly depicts the hardships, losses, and injustices faced by the Weatherford family and their ancestors.

Illustration and Diagram found in book KIN

In the same vein as our collective commitment to remember the Holocaust, KIN serves as a poignant reminder that we must remember and learn from the injustices of the past so that they may never befall our fellow Americans or humanity as a whole again. Carole Boston Weatherford and Jeffery Boston Weatherford have crafted a work of art that is not only a tribute to their family but also a powerful testament to the enduring spirit of all those who have suffered and persevered in the face of adversity.

In conclusion, KIN is a literary masterpiece that transcends genre and age, offering readers a deeply emotional and educational journey into the heart of American history. It is a book that will leave an indelible mark on those who read it, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking a profound and meaningful exploration of the African-American experience.


Mother-Son/Author Illustrator Duo of KIN
Carole Boston Weatherford & Jeffery Boston Weatherford

About Carole Boston Weatherford & Jeffery Boston Weatherford Mother-Son/Author-Illustrator Duo:

Hailed as “a master” and “the dean” of nonfiction for young people,” Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner Carole Boston Weatherford is a New York Times best-seller and two-time NAACP Image Award winner. Since her 1995 debut, she has authored 70-plus books including four Caldecott Honor winners: Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre; Freedom in Congo Square, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Her books have won nine Coretta Scott King Awards or Honors. She writes the diverse books that she lacked as a child.

Author KIN
Carole Boston Weatherford

A Baltimore native and the daughter of educators, Carole was virtually born with ink in her blood. At age six, she dictated her first poem to her mother. Her father, a high school printing teacher, published a few of her early poems on the press in his classroom. Meanwhile, her grandmothers passed down oral traditions and stories. By middle school, Carole had transferred from an all-black public school to a majority-white, private school where a teacher wrongfully accused her of plagiarism. That slight compelled her to chronicle a more inclusive history, to amplify marginalized voices, and to build monuments with words.

Now, children’s books are a family affair for Carole. In KIN: Rooted in Hope, she and her son, award-winning illustrator Jeffery Weatherford embark on a genealogical quest. Through multi-voiced poems and dramatic scratchboard illustrations, mother and son conjure the voices and visages of their forebears. Their ancestors lived through the American Revolution, fought in the Civil War, were enslaved alongside Frederick Douglass, cofounded Reconstruction-era villages, and according to local lore, descended from African royalty.

A professor at Fayetteville State University, an HBCU in North Carolina, Carole has been recognized with the Nonfiction Award from the Children’s Book Guild, the North Carolina Literature Award, the Ragan-Rubin Award from North Carolina English Teachers Association and a place in the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Illustrator KIN
Jeffery Boston Weatherford

Jeffery earned his M.F.A. from Howard University where he was a Romare Bearden scholar and studied under artists from the Black Arts Movement. Jeffery has performed or exhibited as a rapper and a fine artist in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Baltimore, North Carolina, West Africa, and the Middle East. Jeffery’s first book was You Can Fly the Tuskegee Airmen, and his first picture book was Call Me Miss Hamilton. Both appeared on Best Book of the Year lists.

Website: Email:

Publicist: The Literary/Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati (

Agent: Rubin Pfeffer Content

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Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of KIN, US Only.

Ends September 19th, midnight EST.


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