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BROWN ANGELS by Walter Dean Myers

BROWN ANGELS

An Album of Pictures and Verse

By Walter Dean Myers

Age Range: 5 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-022917-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

Enchanting period photos of young African-Americans, which Myers collected from "dusty bins in antique shops, flea markets, auction houses, and museum collections." The children are dressed in their best--white lace, baggy trousers, or school clothes and bare feet--and elegantly posed, whether in gracious surroundings or sitting on a humble stoop; their luminous gazes are warmed with the rich gold and brown of the old photos. Truly, this beautifully designed "album" is a labor of love. Myers's verse is less wonderful; it offers no epiphanies to match the pictures, but his echoes of African-American speech and themes make them a decent accompaniment. And if "For I am dark and precious/And have such gifts to give/Sweet joy, sweet love,/Sweet laughter/Sweet wondrous life to live" seems--well, sweet, it's also piquantly ironic in light of the struggles awaiting these promising, much-beloved children. (Poetry. 5+)