SHINING by Julius Lester


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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Lester looks to the silence that gives meaning to the noise all around us in this powerfully told original tale, as deep-eyed faces alive with character peer from Clapp’s sweeping, shadowy accompanying art. In a tribal setting evoked rather than specified, an utterly silent child, named “Shining” for her skin, grows up and is refused ritual admission to the society of women for her strangeness. But after offering a wordless song of forgiveness that tells her people that she has been listening to them all along, hearing their joys, sorrows, and fears, Shining goes on to become designated successor to The One, a regal deity charged with guarding all souls living and dead. In a long preface that adds more weight than height, Lester explains that he not only explores his own relationship with music and listening here, but is intent on linking blackness with strong, positive images. Like a piece of sophisticated music, this will engender profound emotional responses—but younger readers may have trouble grasping its subtler themes. (illustrator note) (Picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-15-200773-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2003


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