Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: January's Sparrow
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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on December 31, 2009
I teach middle school kids and I love them. They think they know so much and yet are open to learning more. This book touched them like no other book ever has. The impact was visible. I am serious. It was profound for white students in the North to "get" the fact that slavery had an impact here, too. They felt so isolated from this issue before this book. Now, when I read my students' writing, I see their attempts at realistic references to slavery, and to understanding the world from the point of view of someone else - this is a pretty incredible gift Polacco has given teachers and students.

This book, along with Pink and Say, are perfect for middle school kids. They give good, true information in a format that is non-threatening. The kids are appropriately shocked and outraged, but they are allowed to digest it at their own pace and they have Patricia's gentle and beautiful artwork to help them understand.

This book should win the Newbery and Caldecott Awards.
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on December 9, 2009
Patricia Polacco has done it again! Her stories are an inspiration! This book reveals a very serious subject in a way that young children can understand and respond to it!
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on December 5, 2009
Patricia Polacco has done it again. This is a heart wrenching story of slavery and bravery. Very well written and illustrated as with all of her books.
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on January 21, 2010
Patricia Polacco's JANUARY'S SPARROW is a pick for grades 3-5, telling of the Crosswhites, who flee the Kentucky plantation they slave on leaving everything behind. Their slow journey to Michigan seems to lead to freedom - but slave catchers still threaten their lives. How the family and a small town face these slave catchers and stand up for themselves makes for and absorbing, riveting story of nearly 100 pages paired with fine color drawings throughout.
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on November 8, 2014
Any Patricia Polacco book is wonderful. I read many of her books to my 5th and 6th grade students and they would ask me to read them again. Her books are often based on her family history. A favorite was The Butterfly.
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VINE VOICEon December 14, 2009
Every elementary-aged child needs this book in his ore her personal library, and every public library should have this book in its collection. Besides a story you cannot put down, the themes included of what absolute power does to a person, what fear does, and how heroism can be forged in the most dire circumstances, are inspiring. The illustrations are perfect.
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on February 12, 2016
This is one of Polacco's most powerful tales. Filled with drama, emotion, fear, suspense, elation, disgust, this story of slavery can't help but bring a tear and a quavering voice when reading aloud. Equally as dramatic are the illustrations that fully capture the prose of the story. Young people of all races can't help but be disturbed at the history of slavery via a personal--though fictional--account of the Crosswhite slave family. Yes, this is historical, but also realistic, fiction of the treatment of slaves and their desire and attempts for freedom. The story also dramatically emphasizes the Underground Railroad's benefactors and the effect of the Fugitive Slave Law and integration. As a picture book this is a very long read: With elaboration (necessary), it took me 70 minutes to complete--thus, the possible need to read in sections. The tale has both a very surprising and happy ending.

Interest Level: Grade 3.5/4 & Up; reading level 4.4--Historical Fiction (Slavery)
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on May 30, 2013
This remarkable author never disappoints. She's meticulous in her research and every creation is precious and meaningful. She has become a favorite author of the children in my life and the child in me.
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on July 19, 2011
I teach 4th and 5th grade and I use this book all the time in my class. The pictures and story from the beginning rope the kids in. I would say that 3rd grade would be as low as you could possibly go with this book (if that, due to some graphic pictures), but I'd use it all the way through high school. If you are interested at all in teaching about social justice, this book is a must. This is my new favorite book for my teacher library. Yes, #1.
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on December 6, 2009
Patricia is an amazing author who tells it like it is or was. She makes the pages come alive by connecting to the readers lives and surroundings. January Sparrow is just another one of her amazing picture books that share about the struggles African Americans lived through and should not have had to. I dare you to read it without a tissue near by. I have yet to read one of her books without a tissue box on my lap.
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