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28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World Hardcover – January 13, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Smith tells readers in an author's note that he has "always had a love-hate relationship with Black History Month." Together with Evans, he presents 28 brief descriptions of crucial people or events in black history, ranging from 1770 to the present. Text formats include poetry, quotations, eulogies, and plays on numbers (a countdown recognizes astronauts Guion Bluford and Mae Jemison). The poetry stands out for its use of concrete form (the poem about tennis players Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe bounces across the page) and its wordplay (singer Marian Anderson's poem incorporates one of her best-known songs). Expanding on Evans's highly textured Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom (Roaring Brook, 2011) and other works, the collage-style art matches line and color palettes to the mood of each event (for example, Martin Luther King Jr. is shown speaking against a background of outward-expanding lines of yellows and oranges). The physical book sometimes becomes part of the illustration, as when the gutter separates a black family from a white one on the pages about the separate but equal doctrine, and the boundaries between words and pictures are sometimes blurred, as when Jackie Robinson literally hits words such as inequality and prejudice out of the park. A final 29th day challenges readers to make history for themselves, and a bibliography invites further exploration. Highly recommended as a reference book, an example of poetic forms, and a work of art.—Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ
“* Fuelded by childhood memories of hearing the same Black History Month stories about the same people and events told the same way over and over, Smith, sought to convey the importance and relevance of African American contributions and milestones in a fresh, engaging manner . . . An inspiring, fresh take on a perennial topic.” ―Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Succinct biographical info, included throughout, further cements the value and utility of the project, both in and out of the classroom.” ―Publishers Weekly
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It is a 6.6 Accelerated Reader quiz level.
PROS: The poems are creative for kids to read. The poem for Barack Obama on Day 28 is my personal favorite. The illustrations are nicely done, and the pages are colorful. The paragraph excerpts on what really happened at the bottom of each page are important. This book is a nice way for kids to learn about African American men and women.
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