Hear Our Voices
A Powerful Retelling of the British Empire through 20 True Stories
by Radhika Natarajan; Chao Tayiana
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Pub Date 17 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 5 Oct 2023
Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions, Wide Eyed Editions
At one time, the British Empire ruled over almost a quarter of the world’s population. Men, women and children from all walks of life and from across the globe were affected in big and small ways, from the clothes they wore, the food they ate and the languages they spoke to the work they did and the rights they held. This legacy and impact is still evident all over the world today.
This book shines a light on the human aspects of the ‘Empire where the sun never sets’, introducing readers to a host of figures, both powerful and modest, who lived through, challenged, and influenced the course of the British Empire.
But how did this empire come to be? And what happened to the people whose lands were colonised? The people whose lives were touched? This book tells their stories and reclaims this chapter in history by giving voice to 20 real figures whose perspectives have often been ignored, overlooked or sidelined.
Their stories are told in a first-person narrative style, allowing readers to see through the eyes of these inspiring history-keepers. From leaders and activists to poets and freedom fighters, the book features a range of figures from across five continents, shining a light on the human aspect of the British Empire.
Meet Queen Nanny, the escaped slave who led a fight for freedom against the British in Jamaica.
Hear the story of Rani of Jhansi, a key figure in the Indian resistance movement against British colonial rule.
Learn about Tejonihokarawa, the Mohawk leader who travelled to London on a diplomatic mission.
These engaging true stories of resistance, community, struggle and hope will spark conversations, foster a broader, decolonized understanding of the reaches and impacts of colonialism and ultimately leave readers inspired. After all, understanding our past and its echoes in our lives today is a step towards a better future.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 26 members
Wow, a wonderful book that combines informative and educational facts about a wide range of historical characters with eye catching illustrations to make it fun and accessible. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and know it would be great to have on. KS2 class bookshelf .
An important and eye-opening book shining a light on the stories of people who fought against colonialism. These are voices that history has too often ignored here in the Western world. I know some people will be upset that the book doesn't offer "two sides" but I think we've got the "other side" covered (to the extent anyone can argue there is one). This book also introduces the reader to the history of empire - everything from the why and how to the impact on countries around the world, a lot of which can still be felt today. The writing is clear and accessible and the stories covered are diverse and that matters.
Minor gripes because I have to be honest here - the numbered boxes aren't always easy to follow but that might be because I was reviewing on-screen. And more importantly, I really wasn't sure about the inclusion of Gandhi given the more "trickier" aspects of his world view/life/actions that really don't make him a good role model. Still, I didn't drop my star rating for this because I can see why the author would include him given his contribution to the freedom struggle. I have much more to say on that too but this isn't the forum!
Thank you to #Netgalley and #Quarto publishing for giving me access to this arc in exchange for an honest review.
Hear Our Voices is a diverse collection of people's stories who challenged the colonialism of the British Empire. These incredible people stood up for the rights of indigenous people, challenging the authorities, peacefully, and campaigning for equality for all.
What they went through is a casebook demonstration of the arrogance and supremacy of Imperialists, negating the rich and diverse cultures, religions, languages and customs of the indigenous and inflicting their 'superior' way of life, thereby civilizing and subjugating them.
Radhika Natarajan and Chao Tayiana have written a beautiful book respecting those heroes and what they stood for as individuals. The illustrations are beautiful too.
This book is very engaging and an eye-opener into the people fighting against oppression. It is a very good base for further reading and discussion.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own opinions.
I'll admit that I'm writing this part of the review by impulse and may retract my statement as I go forward. The Agents of the Empire are evil people with no care for human life, and this is not acknowledged on the page. I understand it's about facts and all that, but one of these fiens indirectly murdered 19300 humans with families and sent tens of thousands more into slavery. I think every way he was not an empathic man would be something!!! I will now return to the book.
I finished the book and really enjoyed how easy it reads and how factual it is. Wonderful research toll.
I, however, greatly despise the Agents of the Empire
Another great book to give children an insight into the gaps in history from traditional curriculum history. We need these types of books in education. The children will love the layout and illustrations. Must have class read.