Book Review: After Gandhi

After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistence written by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmond O’Brien illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien Published by: Charlesbridge, 2009 Audience (reading level): 11 and up (8.7) spacer Bravery. Each night, when I picked up this book to read, I was always awestruck by these courageous people. No matter how angry or abusive their accuser, they rose neither hand nor voice in response. [Yes, they might speak, but they did not yell, scream, or stoop to their accuser's level.] This isn’t the clerk in the coffee store who listens to an unhappy customer berate him. This is the person who sat quietly while people threw stones at her … or beat her … and … Read more

Book Review: Burn My Heart

Burn My Heart written by:  Beverley Naidoo published by: Amistad, an Imprint of HarperCollins, 2007 Audience (reading level): 10 and up (Flesch-Kincaid 5.6) In this historical fiction novel, Beverley Naidoo takes us to Kenya in the early 1950s. This is the story of the Mau Mau rebellion, seen through the eyes of two young boys. Mathew and Mugo share a friendship, just as their fathers had before them. The boys are the third generation of their families living in British-occupied Kenya.  What had been the tribal land of Mugo’s grandfather now belonged to the Graysons.  By British decree, Mathew’s grandfather owned 5,000 acres. The Kikuyus – Mugo’s people – were hired as staff and were allowed to create a homestead … Read more

Book Review: Boycott Blues

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation written by:  Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney published by: Amistad/Greenwillow, 2008 Audience (reading level): 6 to 9 (Flesch-Kincaid 2.0) Come along as Dog Tired, a “feisty hound,” starts singing the blues. Listen as he tells you about Jim Crow, Rosa Parks and her refusal to move to the back of the bus.  Rub your tired feet while he reminds you to keep the faith on day 100 … 200 … 300 of the Montgomery bus boycott. Then cheer as  the Supreme Court tells Jim Crow to fly away on day 382. Wow! I really don’t know where to begin in describing the book. There are so many layers. Boycott Blues … Read more