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Freedom Soup: A Taste of Haitian Independence

Step into Ti Gran’s kitchen for a taste of Freedom Soup, rich with Haitian history and tradition.

Freedom Soup

Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes; however, all opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Freedom Soup: A Taste of Haitian Independence

In this beautiful new picture book, author Tami Charles pays tribute to her family’s own Ti Gran (grandmother) who introduced her to the taste and history of Freedom Soup, also known as Soup Joumou, eaten by Haitian’s on New Year’s Day.

She honors the people of Haiti and their fighting spirit that led to this cultural tradition and reminds us that nothing in the world is free, not even freedom.

The Author’s Note is helpful in providing context for the story by including a brief history of the slave rebellion that resulted in the country’s independence from France and the abolishment of slavery on January 1, 1804. And don’t miss Charles’ “easy, no-fuss, kid-friendly recipe” for Freedom Soup that she shares in the back of the book.

Jacqueline Alcantara’s bright and colorful illustrations bring the story to life and emit the joys of freedom, family, and food that warm our souls.Freedom Soup

It’s New Year’s Day, Haitian Independence Day, and Belle is excited to be learning how to make Freedom Soup. With the sounds of Haitian kompa filling the kitchen, Ti Gran and Belle dance their way through the steps for preparing the traditional soup.

They mash the garlicky herbs for seasoning the meat, they peel the pumpkin and add the vegetables. And then, Ti Gran shares the story that she shares every year. The story that explains why eating the sweet pumpkiny soup is a Haitian new year celebration of the end of slavery and the start of freedom.

Belle understands the importance of keeping her family’s history and traditions alive and looks forward to teaching her own children how to make Freedom Soup one day.

Family Traditions

Freedom Soup is an example of passing down cultural traditions from one generation to the next. Look for examples in the story proving this is a tradition they have done before.

This year, I get to help make Freedom Soup.”

“Next is your favorite.”

“The same answer I always give.”

“The same story she tells every year

Story Comprehension 

Belle’s Family Tradition (FREE PRINTABLE)  Students complete a Five W’s (who, what, where, when, why) and One H (how) graphic organizer to write a summary of Belle’s family tradition.

Text to Self Connection

Share Your Own Family Tradition (FREE PRINTABLE)  Students complete a Five W’s (who, what, where, when, why) and One H (how) graphic organizer to write a summary of one of their own family traditions.

Freedom Soup


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

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