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Papa's Mark Hardcover – February 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5--This story revolves around the descendants of freed slaves struggling to assert their right to vote after the Civil War. Despite being legally enfranchised by the Fifteenth Amendment, many roadblocks still stand in the way of black men like Samuel T. Blow: functional illiteracy, the lingering bigotry of the white men in power, and the spiritual paralysis born of many years spent with no rights at all. But Samuel's young son, Simms, helps his father learn to read and write his own name, which gives the man the courage to lead their community to the polling place on Election Day. Battle-Lavert employs regional colloquialisms and a simple narrative structure to tell her story, and Bootman's dense oil paintings evoke the mood and setting of the period. An epilogue covers the politics and other complications that kept African Americans from voting as freely as whites before 1966. Minor problems arise in the text, however, as when it suggests that Samuel--who has only recently learned to read and write his own name--could manage a written ballot without help. Since the plot focuses on his illiteracy, it seems a bit facile for the text to imply that learning to sign his name was the only educational hurdle for him to clear. Nevertheless, this is a powerful story with a lot to offer to young readers.--Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. Bootman's burnished oils in browns and golds and a beautiful antique type font help foster the gentle ambience of this powerful story. Simms is always at Papa's side, and he eagerly awaits Papa's first opportunity, as an African-American, to vote. But Papa wants to sign his name, not an X, to get his ballot. He practices signing his name, Samuel T. Blow, and Simms helps him. While urging his fellows to go to town to vote, Simms listens to their fear of the townspeople's wrath, not all of whom are happy to see black men voting. But Simms sticks by his father, and when all the men choose to go to vote, the white shopkeeper in town goes in side-by-side with Samuel T. He signs his name, and he and Simms put the ballot in the box together. "Simms grinned. Papa voted. Lamar County changed." An author's note explains the poll tax, literacy tests, and other obstacles designed in the post-Civil War South to keep black men from voting. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 430L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; 1st edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082341650X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823416509
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,145,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Papa's mark is a really good book. I go to Norwood Creek Elementary. I have a reading teacher that let us vote for either one of the three books which were Boxes for Katje, Papa's mark, and Patrol. Even though I chose boxes for Katje, I also enjoyed this story about Blacks having freedom to vote and a son teaches his dad how to write his name. I LOVE THIS BOOK!! HI MISS.ENDRIS

From miss.Wards class

Amanda Villanueva
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A Kid's Review on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The story was mostly about a guy that doe's not know how to write.I like this story because it was good and fuuny.A littel bit is about voting.And the end of the story because the dad lerned how to write his name quckliy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So glad about this book. Very interesting little story but so pertinent to what I was in search of. Very Happy.
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