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Two poets, one white and one black, explore race and childhood in this must-have collection tailored to provoke thought and conversation.
How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don't know each other . . . and they're not sure they want to. Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (of The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage), this remarkable collaboration invites readers of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.
Praise for the print edition:
"A fresh approach to exploring interracial communication. . . . A brave and touching portrayal worthy of sharing in classrooms across America."—starred, Kirkus Reviews
The poems delicately demonstrate the complexity of identity and the power of communication to build friendships."—starred, Publishers Weekly
Two classmates working together on a poetry project explore the shades of their skin and other differences. Their verses reveal the challenges in confronting racial identities, celebrate universal childhood experiences, and share joy. —School Library Journal
Qualls and Alko's layering of print newspaper clippings over paint begs readers to take a closer look. Appended authors' and illustrators' notes provide more information about the book's background and development. This volume would make an excellent read-aloud or a launch pad for collaborative classroom writing."—The Horn Book Magazine