A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson

Title: A Wreath for Emmett Till

Author: Marilyn Nelson

Illustrator: Philippe Lardy

Publisher: Hougton Mifflin

Published Date: 2005

Emmett Till was only 14 when he was brutally¬†hung and killed. Left in a river to bloat and fester. All because he supposedly whistled at a white man’s wife. Till, being black, was victimized during a time in the U.S. that segregation was in full force. His death was one of several that started the Civil Rights movement. Ms. Nelson captures his death and the world at that time and transforms it into a beautiful poem.

This poem is beautiful. It made me angry, sad and hurt that anyone could do this to another human being. It doesn’t matter the color, race, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual preference. For someone to coldly kill another because of hate is despicable. And for the men who killed Emmett to have gotten away with this murder is not only unjust but plain wrong. I don’t even have the words to describe how I feel about this right now. I’m just sad that it happened. For Ms. Nelson to produce so much beauty in such a horrendous act is a blessing and beauty of its own. I’m a poetry lover and never have I had a poem move me as much. I wish I could explain more about the poem, but it’s just one of those things you will have to read on your own to understand. This poem is great. Read it. It might just change you.

Happy Reading!

R

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Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Pinkney

Title: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down

Author: Andrea Pinkney

Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

Publisher: Little, Brown & Co

Published Date: 2010

 

Sit-In chronicles part of the Civil Rights movement that started in the late 1950s. Four friends that went to a local college went to an only white restaurant and sat at the bar until they were served. This movement soon caught on and black and white students around the country were protesting segregation through sit-ins. Because they were a peaceful group, most law officers didn’t do anything to the protesters. As time went on, more people became enraged with these protests and started arresting the peaceful protestors In the end, the sit-ins became very popular and caught the eye of President Kennedy. Soon segregation was a thing of the past.

I like how easy this book was to read. Yes, it is for children, but it put what happened in simple terms. There is no spin. Just the facts. This lets children and parents make up their own opinions about what happened. The illustrations make the story even better. I like how most of the characters don’t have very distinct features. They could have been your neighbor or friend. It makes you think what if that happened today? Would you stand up for your friend, neighbor, family?

Happy Reading!

R

Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson

Title: Show Way

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrator: Hudson Talbott

Publisher: G.P. Putnams Sons

Published Date: 2005

This is the story of Woodson’s family line on her mother’s side. It starts out with her great-grandmother Soonie’s great-grandmother. The women were sold as children to slave owner’s and learned how to sew quilts. These quilts were picture maps on how other slaves could get from the South to the North and be free. Each woman learned the craft and it was taught generation to generation up until Ms. Woodson teaches her daughter. It also follows history of slavery to civil war to civil rights to today.

Awesome story about the history of slavery and tradition. Although the quilts are no longer needed to get slaves to freedom, the tradition of the quilts are still passed on and make a living. Each woman learning to become stronger and wiser as the generations go on. No words can describe how great of a story this is. The illustrations are amazing as well. The images tell a story all of their own, yet complete the story that is told. Remarkable.

Happy Reading!

R