Day of Tears By: Julius Lester

Book report by: Brooklyn Epp


This book is about the life of slaves and slaveholders before the Civil War. Pierce Butler has the biggest plantation of slaves and is now having the biggest auction to sell them because of his gambling problems. Pierce Butler got divorced to his wife because she was against segregation of blacks and whites and treated the slaves just like her friends. The two of them had two daughters. Francis, who was just like her father and disliked slaves and was mean to them. Sara was the other daughter and she was like her mother who loved and cared about the slaves. Emma is a slave who's job was to take care of the children. Both of the girls loved her but Francis usually tried not to care too much. The parents of Emma love her so much but they are afraid that Pierce Butler will sell her away when he takes her with him to the slave auction. The day of the auction, rain fell so hard and it rained for a very long time. Emma's mother said that this wasn't regular rain, this is God's tears. There is one lady who ends up buying Emma for her daughter's care. The lady's plantation was nice, but Emma longed to be free. She met a boy named Joe and they wanted to get married but not while they were slave, so they planned to escape. In the end, Emma and Joe escape to Philadelphia, and then move to Canada to be completely free. Sara and Emma kept in touch throughout their entire life.

Genre and Theme

Theme: Treat everyone equally even if you think they are different than you because in the end everyone is the same.

Genre: Historical Fiction

4 Questions

What did you enjoy about the book?

I enjoyed that I could have a view of every person in the story. I know what's going on in everyone's head

Was the ending satisfactory?

The ending was very satisfactory because Emma and Joe made it to Canada and were free for the rest of their lives.

Describe the author's writing style.

The author wrote kind of like a script of a play. The text would say at the top who was speaking and then what they were doing. The Author wrote the book in many different perspectives.

Would you recommend this book?

I would recommend this book if you like short, but very interesting books. Also, you would like this book if you like a lot of detail in your readings.