HOPE by Isabell Monk


Age Range: 4 - 7
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Monk takes a didactic tack in presenting one girl’s ancestry, weaving into a story of several generations the scene of her African-American mother and Caucasian father’s wedding. The stumbling narration establishes that the protagonist is in sixth grade, looking back on a summer weekend before she entered second grade. Her loving Aunt Prudence, known as Aunt Poogee, takes the narrator to an open-air market, where they encounter another relative, Miss Violet. Miss Violet asks outright, “My goodness, Prudence, is the child mixed?” The question haunts the girl, whose name is revealed as Hope, until Aunt Poogee steps in with a bedtime story that is overblown, invoking the faith of immigrants and slaves across generations who “look forward to a future where you will be proud to be part of a race that is simply ‘human.’ “ The sentiments are strong, but the delivery borders on mawkish. Sturdy faces, tender postures, and vibrant backgrounds considerably enliven the bibliotherapeutic proceedings. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 9th, 1999
ISBN: 1-57505-230-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1999