Maybe when you hear the song, Amazing Grace, you instantly hear the voices of Mahalia Jackson, your favorite gospel choir or your grandmother singing in the home. Its lyrics speak of prevailing, holding on, enduring and growth. Many have heard the song but know little of its origin. London born John Newton penned the words to this song after years working in the Royal Navy and as a servant to a slave trader in Africa. After weathering a brutal storm upon the slave ship Greyhound in 1748, he relied on his faith and spiritual upbringing to carry him through the storm. Grateful to God for surviving, he decided to change his ways and become a minister. He also reconsidered his views on slavery and was instrumental in helping to end it in the British Empire.

Aside from this being an amazing non-fiction book, readers will be astounded by the illustrations. The cover is powerful because it encompasses the face of John Newton with images of a ship, freedom, soldiers and African Americans which are all symbolic to the story. Educators could use the cover illustration to spark interest in the book. I can already hear their excited and thoughts; how sweet the sound.

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