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AP US History Optional Extra Credit Summer Reading  

Last Updated: May 24, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Invention of Wings


Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household.

The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd's sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other's destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister,

Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women's rights movements. Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful's cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better. This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved  (Source:  Destiny - Titlepeek)

Interview with the Author


    Partial Audio of the Book


    Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis - 11th Grade AP United States History


    Profiles the intertwined lives of seven of America's founding fathers, including John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.  Source: Destiny Catalog


    About the Author



      Founding Brothers A&E Documentary Clip

      Description: Founding Brothers examines six moments when the collisions and collusions of these towering figures left an indelible imprint on the nation. (Home Access Only)


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