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SIENNA’S SCRAPBOOK by Toni Trent Parker


Our African American Heritage Trip

by Toni Trent Parker & illustrated by Janell Genovese

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8118-4300-9
Publisher: Chronicle

Sienna groans when she hears her family’s perfectly fun, 700-mile road trip from Connecticut to North Carolina will be ruined with educational trips to African-American historical sites. Much to her delight, she discovers that Krispy Kreme donuts are everywhere—and that history’s more interesting than she thought. Written in diary format with a “handwritten” font on lined paper, this is packed with informational asides, actual photographs and playful illustrations of the family eating Maryland crabs, or of sights along the way. The travel perspective is childlike, but the narrative often stumbles as it tries to combine the requisite “ughs” and “awesomes” with more factual statements and curiously dry quotations from Sienna’s parents. Since the journey stops are so carefully, chronologically demarcated, a more detailed map for readers to track the trek would have been helpful. Still, the overall travelogue is colorful and engaging and offers a unique glimpse of the cultural heritage of African-Americans in the United States. (list of places with contact information and web sites, author’s note) (Fiction. 7-11)