Emma, the sequel to Cheryl Wills’s popular children’s book The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills, brings to life one of the lost voices of the Civil War era while inspiring readers to stand up for what they believe in.

Emma Wills was an illiterate and brave former slave who overcame challenges and dared to dream big during a painful period in our nation’s history. With only a little hope in her heart and tenacious determination, she found the inner strength to keep her family stable during trying times and reach her goals. Children will learn about the powerful story of freedom, hardship, and perseverance.

Categories: , , ,
Author: Cheryl Wills
Product ID: 16042


Grades 2-6 | Illustrated Book | ISBN: 978-1-68265-642-6 | Lexile: 690L



  • Helps readers build literacy, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills
  • Introduces students to social emotional competencies
  • Teaches life skills such as leadership, initiative, and perseverance

Key features:

  • Depth of Knowledge content aligned to Common Core ELA Standards
  • Unique hands-on individual and group activities for engagement and collaboration
  • Discussion questions to support social emotional learning
  • Glossary to build and expand student vocabulary
  • Primary sources to help students relate in a personal way

About the Author: 

Cheryl is an award-winning Spectrum NY1 News TV Anchorwoman and popular children’s author who is inspired by her family’s 150-year-old fight for freedom since the Civil War. Cheryl travels around the world, motivating students to connect with their family roots. Her powerful presentations also provide students with the confidence and skills they need to fight social injustices and to build productive lives.


“It’s an unusual plot for a picture book, but Wills pulls it off, emphasizing both Emma’s unrealized desire to read and write and the importance of literacy to the successful negotiation of power structures. The message is clear and convincingly conveyed: Literacy is survival.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Cheryl Wills’s love for her long lost great-great-great grandmother, Emma Wills is honored in this majestic story. This book is a treasure that Emma could not have ever imagined. Thanks to Cheryl’s thorough genealogical research, Emma’s legacy is with us forever. Each one of us should now find the Emma’s in our very own families.”

—Fern Field Brooks, Primetime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Children’s Program

“Children learn about history, hardship, and hope one story at a time. Emma’s story offers children a personal and powerful story of freedom, while helping them understand how rare and how limited freedom is for black families in America.”

—Rashad Robinson, President, Color of Change

A whole child approach ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.

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