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Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes Hardcover – April 28, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up This charming collection of 26 poems is vibrantly illustrated with depictions of African Americans in varied settings. Homesick Blues shows a saxophone player conjuring up a locomotive at a railroad station. Harlem features a line of people waiting at a bus stop. A poignant rendering of a child watching from outside the fence surrounding a carousel accompanies Merry-Go-Round. For I, Too, a jubilant man leaps, arms and legs stretched out, and for Dream Variations, a man is poised on tiptoe, arms outstretched with the word DREAMS dripping from his fingertips into a heap on the floor. A four-page introduction tells about Hughes's life, setting the context for the poems that follow. Each selection includes a brief introduction, many recounting Hughes's own thoughts about it, and footnotes explain dialect and historical terms such as Jim Crow. The paintings include folk-art and African influences and some minor surrealistic touches, with bright colors and exaggerated limbs on the human figures. This will be a welcome introduction to Hughes's poetry for elementary students, and it includes sufficient detail to make it useful and enjoyable for older students. With its vivid illustrations and wealth of information, Milton Meltzer's biography Langston Hughes (Millbrook, 1997) is a good companion volume. Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-10. Hughes' stirring poetry continues to have enormous appeal for young people. In this illustrated collection of 26 poems, Andrews' beautiful collage-and-watercolor illustrations extend the rhythm, exuberance, and longing of the words--not with literal images, but with tall, angular figures that express a strong sense of African American music, dreams, and daily life--while leaving lots of space for the words to "sing America." The picture-book format makes Hughes' work accessible to some grade-school children, especially for reading aloud and sharing, but the main audience will be older readers, who can appreciate the insightful, detailed introduction and biography, as well as the brief notes accompanying each poem, contributed by Hughes scholars Roessel and Rampersol. Their comments, together with the quotes from the poet himself, will encourage readers to return to the book to see how Hughes made poetry of his personal life, black oral and musical traditions, urban experience, and the speech of ordinary people. Whether the focus is the Harlem Renaissance, the political struggle, Hughes' African heritage, or the weary blues, this book will find great use in many libraries. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: Poetry For Young People
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (April 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402718454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402718458
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I cannot think of a better way to introduce the poetry of Langston Hughes than this small volume. The selection is excellent and of interest you the young reader. The commentary is quite relevant as are the pictures which accompany it. I find that often now, our young people go all the way through the early grades in school and many of them have never heard of Hughes,much less read his poetry. This was the sort of stuff my generation and the generation before it grew up on and cut our teeth on. I do not feel I am any worse for the wear. I am fearful that we are bringing up an entire generation (rightfully or wrong, although I feel it is the later) of young folks who will have no appreciation to this great art form and will miss a lot. This book helps. This entire series helps, as a matter of fact and I certainly recommend you add this one and the others to your library. Actually, it is rather fun reading these with the young folk and then talking about them. Not only do you get to enjoy the work your self and perhaps bring back some great memories, but you have the opportunity to interact with your child or student. It is actually rather surprising what some of the kids come up with. I read these to my grandchildren and to the kids in my classes at school. For the most part, when I really get to discussing the work with them, they enjoy it. Recommend this one highly.
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By Elaine on February 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I grew up without having read any Langston Hughes. Now in college, I've read some and I'm going to become a teacher. When I teach, I'm going to use this book as a tool for teaching poetry and writing. The pages have beautiful art. It's not just good for academics, I'd buy it for any kid or adult.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a Langston Hughes fan, you'll appreciate this book. It's meant for any age, and the illustrations make it even more friendly for children. I am using the book in studying the Harlem Renaissance with my students, and it does a great job. It makes it fun to study one of Harlem's biggest stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book and others, for a youngman age 15years, for his birthday. He requested books from me as a gift, that is books of Langston Hughes, which he knew that from past gifts over the years, I prefer to give books as a gift.

I am sure that he is enjoying these books, I will hear from him again next year I am sure, when the next birthday rolls around, and that will be fine with me, for then I will buy him more books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My co-teacher and I have used this book to introduce poetry from the Harlem Renaissance. We have also used it to have our high school students (juniors) practice forming literary concepts such as symbolism, exaggeration, irony, analogy, and labeling. There are great images that accompany this book, and it has aided our students (special education through AP/Honors level) in making those connections. As a follow-up activity, we gave our students poetry from the Harlem Renaissance and had them create their own visuals/political cartoons illustrating those literary concepts.

This book would be great a great teaching tool for teachers from middle school through high school, as well as parents who want to introduce some richer African American poetry to their children.
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Format: Hardcover
When kids are young, they only need tiny bits of poetry to set their own imaginations going. This book is a great introduction to Langston Hughes, one of my favorite American poets. He is uniquely American, and the illustrations in this book are very American -- optimistic, stretching, moving around.

This book includes some rhythmic poems and some Africa poems, and lots of poems about keeping your chin up.

I asked my kids to pick their favorites and re-write them in their own journals. Reading these together is a wonderful way to spend time as a family.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is not just for young people--it's a deal for young and old. The poignant poetry is complemented by the emotive artwork. Rossel and Rampersad are scholars of Hughes, and their choice of Benny Andrews as illustrator is brillant. The images, the colors, the ideas, and the sounds intertwine. I bought this for my students, but my friends and I have been enjoying it immensely.
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Format: Hardcover
We found his poems to be fascinating, and descriptive. We learned a lot about his history. He expresses himself very well. He believes in what he writes about and our group found the material to be very interesting and challenging.
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