Cassie Louise Lightfoot, eight years old in 1939, has a dream: to be free to go wherever she wants for the rest of her life. One night, up on “tar beach” —the rooftop of her family’s Harlem apartment building—her dream comes true. The stars lift her up, and she flies over the city. She claims the buildings as her own—even the union building, so her father won’t have to worry anymore about not being allowed to join just because his father was not a member. As Cassie learns, anyone can fly. “All you need is somewhere to go you can’t get to any other way. The next thing you know, you’re flying above the stars.”
The book, Tar Beach, is based on the story quilt Tar Beach, from Faith Ringgold’s The Woman On A Bridge Series of 1988 and is in the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
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