A book that creatively glances backward and forward, offering hope for an America that wants to be post-racial but isn’t...

A GIFT FROM GREENSBORO

A book that gives voice to a little-known piece of history.

In this illustrated free-verse poem, the African-American speaker (and author) remembers the candy and parakeets sold at Woolworth’s, but he also recalls enjoying lunch there with his best friend, a white boy named Tod. Unbeknownst to the boys, others had fought civil rights battles at that same lunch counter only a few years prior. Lansana’s verses traverse two geographical areas—Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Greensboro, North Carolina—and three time periods: 1958, when Clara Luper, an Oklahoma City civil rights activist, staged a sit-in with several young NAACP member in Katz Drug Store; the mid-1970s, when desegregation closed Lansana’s school and sent him to Tod’s, where they became friends; and 1993, when the Greensboro Woolworth’s closed, later to become the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. Lansana’s erasure of geographical and temporal boundaries may confuse readers, but it emphasizes that civil rights battles happened not just in the South, but across the nation. The backmatter covers desegregation milestones that will give readers a deeper understanding of the story. Hill’s artwork alternates among black-and-white, sepia-and-white, partially covered, and full-color illustrations to draw readers’ attention to what was and what is.

A book that creatively glances backward and forward, offering hope for an America that wants to be post-racial but isn’t yet. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9972219-1-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Penny Candy

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre.

SNOW PLACE LIKE HOME

From the Diary of an Ice Princess series

Ice princess Lina must navigate family and school in this early chapter read.

The family picnic is today. This is not a typical gathering, since Lina’s maternal relatives are a royal family of Windtamers who have power over the weather and live in castles floating on clouds. Lina herself is mixed race, with black hair and a tan complexion like her Asian-presenting mother’s; her Groundling father appears to be a white human. While making a grand entrance at the castle of her grandfather, the North Wind, she fails to successfully ride a gust of wind and crashes in front of her entire family. This prompts her stern grandfather to ask that Lina move in with him so he can teach her to control her powers. Desperate to avoid this, Lina and her friend Claudia, who is black, get Lina accepted at the Hilltop Science and Arts Academy. Lina’s parents allow her to go as long as she does lessons with grandpa on Saturdays. However, fitting in at a Groundling school is rough, especially when your powers start freak winter storms! With the story unfurling in diary format, bright-pink–highlighted grayscale illustrations help move the plot along. There are slight gaps in the storytelling and the pacing is occasionally uneven, but Lina is full of spunk and promotes self-acceptance.

A jam-packed opener sure to satisfy lovers of the princess genre. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35393-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more