AFRICAN-AMERICAN FOLKTALES FOR YOUNG READERS by Richard Alan Young

AFRICAN-AMERICAN FOLKTALES FOR YOUNG READERS

Age Range: 11 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Thirty-four tales (plus two poems) of tricksters and heroes- -fables, wonderfully scary stories (in a section called ``In the Park and In the Dark''), tall tales, and a pair of contemporary Br'er Rabbit stories, all retold in a respectful, unaffected style. Though some (e.g., ``Wylie and the Hairy Man'') are widely available in similar versions, others will make new connections for many readers--the portrait of Annie Christmas, a keelboat pilot and ``one tough woman''; or the two black men ``who made Casey [Jones] famous.'' The Youngs make another sort of connection in ``Three Young Men Go Out to Find Death,'' which they claim to be a direct ancestor of Chaucer's ``Pardoner's Tale.'' In a departure from the general trend for such collections, the editors are vague about sources; most of the tales are ``retold from folklore'' or ``inspired by the stories'' of prominent black storytellers (nine brief bios appended). Not a necessary purchase, but possibly useful to supplement books like Hamilton's The People Could Fly (1985) and the Youngs' own Favorite Scary Stories of American Children (1990). (Folklore. 11+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-87483-308-6
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: August House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993




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