Friday, March 20, 2015

Black History Month?

Wasn't that last month? lol

Here's a round-up of picture books we received recently from Harper Collins!

Bronzeville Boys and Girls
by Gwendolyn Brooks
4 stars

Not a huge fan of the style of illustrations, but the poems are great.  The "everyday-ness" of childhood joys... and fears... and concerns.  I liked this collection.

My Name is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth
by Ann Turner
3 stars

*shrugs* This was okay.  I thought the Author's Note was a lot more interesting than the text, but I could see using it in a classroom setting.

Harlem Renaissance Party
by Faith Ringgold
2.5 stars

This one was kind of just weird.  A white kid and his black uncle go to a party (in the 1920s?) and meet EVERYone from the Harlem Renaissance.  The narrative is really clumsy and it's not at all clear what's going on.  The GoodReads description told me more about what was going on than reading the book did.  I like the idea, but not the execution.
The glossary at the back is pretty cool though.

Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens
by Nina Nolan
4.5 stars

I was totally unfamiliar with Mahalia Jackson before reading this one.  The narrative is both smooth and informative (where the Sojourner Truth one above didn't necessarily feel like it was either... I read this one thinking "See, if only that one has been written like this one!").  And of course, after reading it I had to go looking for a clip of her singing (what did we do before Google and YouTube?).

So, here you go-- Mahalia Jackson singing What a Friend We have in Jesus

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