Seeds of America

Seeds of America trilogy: Chains, Forge, and Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson Atheneum, 2008-2016 I'm going to come right out and confess it: the Revolutionary War has never held much interest for me. In fact, American history as a whole and the Colonial period in particular have never quite captured my imagination the way other … Continue reading Seeds of America

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Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Penguin, 2014 352 pages I don’t read a lot of poetry, and I’m not entirely sure why. When my poetry-loving friends put up Facebook posts sharing a favorite line or two from what they’re currently reading, I always think, “How beautiful. I really should read more poetry.” Maybe verse is not … Continue reading Brown Girl Dreaming

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney; ill. by Stephen Alcorn Harcourt, 2000 Where I sit writing, in one of my city's newest public library branches, I can see people picking out magazines and books to read, checking out their materials, lounging in chairs with laptops propped on their … Continue reading Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Goin’ Someplace Special

Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia C. McKissack; ill. Jerry Pinkney Atheneum, 2001 40 pages Since the birth of my daughter, I've become painfully sensitive to the idea of parenting under hardship.  My heart twists around itself every time I think of families who are living through famine, war, oppression, or crushing poverty. This sensitivity reaches … Continue reading Goin’ Someplace Special

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee by Nikki Giovanni; ill. by Larry Johnson Scholastic, 1994 38 pages Just a few weeks ago, I watched Thomas Balmes's documentary Babies with my husband and daughter. The film follows four babies “from first breath to first steps,” offering a mostly unadorned view into their daily lives. The babies are from very different … Continue reading Knoxville, Tennessee