Books by Candy Dawson Boyd

DADDY, DADDY, BE THERE by Candy Dawson Boyd
Released: Sept. 12, 1995

A touching ode to the need of children to have their fathers involved in all aspects of their lives. Boyd (Chevrolet Saturdays, 1993, etc.) eloquently sings the wish of the title, penning it into every page of the lilting text, a child's plea for the father's presence at solo recitals, ball games, at difficult times and glorious ones. Mentioned are moments that are wistful and frightening, ``when my questions need your ears. . .during the hard times when the money goes, during the saxophone-blowing-blues nights'' Articulating feelings that many children would have trouble putting into words, this is a book for all families, including fathers who want to reassure their offspring that they will always be close by with their love. In powerful, dream-like images, Cooper (Joyce C. Thomas's Gingerbread Days, p. 1031, etc.) includes families of all ethnicities, giving this fine marriage of pictures and words a universal appeal. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
Released: May 31, 1993

An African-American fifth-grader develops a sturdy sense of responsibility and weathers some personal crises in this value-driven story. Troubled by his parents' divorce, his mother's remarriage, and a class bully, Joey lets schoolwork slide and gives his stepfather the cold shoulder, refusing to call him anything but ``Mr. Johnson.'' But after several incidents of fighting, shoplifting, and sullen behavior, Joey doesn't like what he's becoming and, with the help of pep-talks from adults and friends, begins to turn himself around. When he accidentally lets his stepfather's beloved Airedale out, Joey mounts a search, finds the injured animal, and gets a part-time job to help pay her medical expenses; by book's end, he's also helping his stepfather at work and has even qualified for an accelerated ``young scientists'' program at a university. While celebrating the importance of honesty, integrity, and supportive family relationships, Boyd also tries to raise consciousness on racial issues, through both dialogue (``Mr. Johnson, does being an African American make everything harder for you?'' ``The short answer is yes and the longer answer is yes'') and incident (Joey's teacher, pegging him as a troublemaker, tries to ease him into a ``special ed'' class instead of recommending him for the gifted program). Boyd has messages to deliver, but she's not strident about them; her characters aren't always consistent- -Joey's calm, intelligent, loving stepfather explodes with rage when he learns that his dog is gone—but she respects them, young and old, and stresses their better qualities. (Fiction. 11-13) Read full book review >