Build a House

By Rhiannon Giddens, Monica Mikai (illustrator),

Book cover of Build a House

Book description

Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens celebrates Black history and culture in her unflinching, uplifting, and gorgeously illustrated picture book debut.

I learned your words and wrote my song. I put my story down.

As an acclaimed musician, singer, songwriter, and cofounder of the traditional African American string band the Carolina…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Build a House as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Fellow musician Rhiannon Giddens is the author of Build a House, a tender story about a banjo-playing little girl and her musical and resilient family.

As the descendent of formerly enslaved Afro-Carolinian banjo and fiddle-playing musicians, Giddens gives readers a unique glimpse into the history of North Carolina and lots of inspiration for the future! Did I mention she's also a Grammy winner and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient?

Rhiannon Giddens is a Grammy-award winner from North Carolina who lives in Ireland. Her music is inspired by her Afro-Caribbean history. Build a House started as a song about the enslaved people trafficked to America to build houses for others, whose own homes were burned down. This simple song-story packs a punch. It’s not just the effect of the repetition in each verse – “You brought me here to build a house, build a house, build a house, and grow your garden fine” – but because the illustrations portray America at its most beautiful, and juxtapose that “gardening” reference with…

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