Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 10
- Grade: p to 5
Finally, the remarkable story of honourary Newfoundlander Lanier Phillips is available for young children in this heartwarming picture book.
A young African American and the son of sharecroppers, Lanier Phillips escapes the violence, racism, and segregation of his Georgia home by joining the navy during the Second World War. But tragedy strikes the USS Truxtun one February night off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland, and Lanier is the lone Black survivor of the terrible shipwreck. Covered in oil when he arrives onshore, the community's kindness and humanity brings him back to health and changes his outlook on life. He would go on to march for Black rights with Martin Luther King, and remained forever grateful to the small town of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland.
With vibrant illustrations by celebrated artist Erin Banks, A Change of Heart vividly depicts Lanier's life-changing experiences in Newfoundland that fateful February.
About the authors
Alice Walsh was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada. An alumnus of St. Mary’s University and Acadia University, Walsh has degrees in both English and criminology, and a master’s degree in English literature with a focus on children’s literature. She is the award- winning author of several children’s books and young adult novels, including Pomiuk, Prince of the North, A Sky Black with Crows, and her latest book, A Long Way from Home. Walsh has received the Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Our Choice” Award, the Ann Connor Brimer Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award. A former preschool teacher, probation officer, and creative writing instructor, Walsh currently lives and writes in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.
Erin Bennett Banks is a New York native with Canadian roots. She is the illustrator of The Patchwork Path, The First Music and Hush Harbor. Her culturally distinct style has earned recognition by The New York Times, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. Erin currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where she makes art with her illustrator husband, three girls, and one mischievous pug.
- Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards (English Non-fiction)
A Change of Heart could be used for discussions on historical themes such as the Civil Rights Movement and the history of Newfoundland. —Canadian Teacher Magazine (Vancouver, BC)
A Change of Heart will add a lot of value to any school library, public library or home library. Students will learn about many aspects of the past: history of the American south, Jim Crowe laws and Newfoundland before Confederation. —Canadian Materials (Winnipeg, MB)