A Change of Heart by Alice Walsh & Illustrated by Erin Bennett Banks
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.
Alice Walsh writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She studied early childhood education, has an MA in English, and has worked as a preschool teacher and creative writing instructor. Her juvenile novel, Pomiuk: Prince of the North (Beach Holme), won the Ann Connor Brimer Award. Her recent picture book, A Change of Heart (Nimbus), was shortlisted for the 2017–18 Hackmatack Award for non-fiction. Alice grew up in Newfoundland and currently lives in 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, Oppeneim Toy Portfolio, and the Gustavus Myers Centre for the Study of Bigotry and Huamn Rights. Erin currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina.