Honey Bea
Weaving strands of fairy tales, voudon, slave stories, and African myth, Siegelson crafts a mesmerizing tale heavy with the scent of honey and flowers and rooted in Louisiana soil. Beatrice is a slave born with the green eyes of her mother and raised by her grandmother’s twin, Tante Abeille, who knows secrets about the girl’s past and future. At 13, Beatrice rebels against her aunt’s wishes (and her own troubling dreams) and enters the master’s house, where Monsieur Reynard’s books entrance her. Her broken silver locket with a bee clasp signifies both the blood ties between Beatrice and Reynard and the lore of the bees, whose honey-laced magic averts disaster in an explosive climax. An unusual, lush new voice in the tradition of magic realism, Siegelson’s writing blends ancestral voices; elements of fairy lore, including Briar Rose and Cinderella; and intoxicating language: “Beatrice knew true sweetness. On her tongue, it tasted like freedom.”  (grades 6-8)—GraceAnne A. DeCandido - Booklist Magazine
Junior Library Guild Selection
25 Books Every Young Georgia Should Read 2010

Trembling Earth
Far from any romantic slave escape and rescue story, this Civil War novel is told from the viewpoint of Hamp, 12, a poor white kid in the Okefenokee Swamp area, who with his dog, tracks down a runaway, Duff, for the bounty.  Siegelson knows the swamp, and she makes the place a dense presence on every page…The wilderness facts root the story in amazing moments of danger and protection, whether the boys are avoiding alligators or finding direction by watching birds, the shadows, and the stars.  This is one of the few Civil War stories to show the Confederate side in all its complexity… The survival adventure will draw kids, many of whom will want to talk about how Hamp overcomes his prejudice and learns the hard truth. (grades 6-9) –Hazel Rochman - Booklist Magazine
Booklist Starred Review

In The Time of the Drums (NY Times Featured Book Review)
A Gullah story brought into beautiful focus by Pinkney's trademark scratchboard-on-oil drawings. Mentu and his grandmother, Twi, are plantation slaves who live on an island off the coast of Georgia. Twi knows some "powerful root magic" and still yearns for her African home. She remembers the stories and the rhythms of the drums, and shares them with Mentu. One day, a ship bearing new slaves arrives in Teakettle Creek, and the island people beat "ancient rhythms" on their drums announcing the ship's arrival. At first the Ibos think they are back in Africa; when they realize they are not, they refuse to leave the ship. Suddenly, Twi hangs her charm bag on Mentu's neck and begins to run toward the water. Magically, the years slip off her as she beckons to the newcomers. Together, they break away from the slave catchers and disappear under the water. Mentu believes that they are walking home to freedom. This well-told story is unusual and powerful. It raises some interesting questions about the meaning and value of freedom, and of literal interpretation of text. The rhythms hint at Gullah language, but the narrative is clear, accessible, and at the same time poetic. Pinkney's illustrations enhance the power of the tale by being at once realistic and mystical. This thought-provoking story would be a splendid addition to any collection. (grades 2-5)
Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City for School Library Journal
American Library Association Coretta Scott King Award (2000)
NY Library Top 100 Books List
Booklist Magazine's Top 10 Black Picture Books
Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
Children's Book Council Notable Book

Dancing the Ring Shout
Toby is now old enough to join his family at the ring-shout in this story that draws on the African-American tradition of circle dances accompanied by call-and-response singing. Each family member brings something to play at the annual harvest celebration that "speaks from his own heart straight to God’s ears." Sister Pearl brings a dry gourd because the sound of the seeds reminds her of cornstalks rattling in the wind and she is "happy for the wind on hot days." Toby, with the wise help of his grandfather, learns that just clapping his hands allows him to speak with everything he has, and what he has most is family. Cohen’s boldly colored, flat illustrations swirl across the pages in circular patterns that provide just the right touch for this warm family story of faith and upholding tradition. An author’s note gives a brief history. (Picture book. Ages 4 -7)  From Kirkus Magazine
2003 Bank Street College Best Book

SE Booksellers Association Award Nominee

The Terrible Wonderful Tellin' at Hog Hammock
Living on a remote island in the marshes of coastal Georgia, Jonas is looking forward to the big storytelling, a gathering of all the islanders. But with his beloved grandfather recently dead and the rest of the men of his family working on the mainland, it falls to Jonas to represent the family by telling a story. Turning the pages of this book is like entering another world... The sense of place is palpable; just as vivid is the feel of the heat, the smell of the gumbo. Along the way readers get a few tales, tantalizing snatches of the Gullah language, and a snapshot of another way of life." (Fiction. 7-10 ) From Kirkus Magazine
State Award Nominee: SC, GA, FL 

Escape South!
Ben and Lizzie, Mama and Papa are slaves on Mister Tom’s farm. They dream of a better life, of a life working for themselves and keeping what they earn. One night, Papa shares a plan to escape from Mister Tom, to escape south to Florida, to Indian Territory, where they’ll find freedom.  (Fiction. 7-10)  “History and drama blend seamlessly in this advanced chapter book.” From Horn Book Magazine