Thursday, February 28, 2008

Title: Pink and Say

Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco

Summary: Grade 4 Up-This picture book set during the Civil War is very different from the usual Polacco books in terms of content and audience. It is certainly the deepest and most serious book she has done. Say Curtis, 15, a white boy, lies badly wounded in a field in Georgia when Pinkus Aylee, an African American Union soldier about Sheldon's age, finds him and carries him home to his mother, Moe Moe Bay. Say is nursed back to health by Moe Moe Bay's nuturing care. But then she is killed by marauders, and the boys return to their units. They are then are captured and taken to Andersonville, where Pink is hanged within hours of their capture. One of the most touching moments is when Pink reads aloud from the Bible to Moe Moe and Say. Say tells them that he can't read, but then he offers something he's very proud of: he once shook Abraham Lincoln's hand. This is a central image in the story, and is what ties the boys together for a final time, as Pink cries, "'Let me touch the hand that touched Mr. Lincoln, Say, just one last time.'" The picture of their clasped hands, with the hands of the soldiers wrenching them apart, is exceptionally moving. Polacco's artwork, in fact, has never been better. She uses dramatic perspectives, dynamic compositions, and faces full of emotion to carry her powerful tale. History comes to life in this remarkable book.

How would I use the book/curriculum units: This is a great story to teach children about history. Although this is a picture book it is reccomended for grades 4 and up. This is a great book that can be integrated into a social studies curriculum by teaching about the civil war.

Reflections: I feel that this is an extremely powerful and moving story. This is a good book to use in the classroom especially since it shows that not everyone felt the same way, just because a lot of people were fighting for slavery doesn't mean there weren't exceptions. It is a good example to display to both white and African American students.This book depicts an African American boy helping out a white boy despite the fact that the white people were individuals who were keeping them inslaved.

Domains of Social Justice:
1. Self love and acceptance: This book displays Say a character who not ashamed of being African American and is very passionate about fighting for his freedoms. We should love and accept ourselves for who we are and never be ashamed of it.
2. Respect for others: We learn through this book the importance to respect others and their cultures. Despite the differences between the two boys cultures they still respected each other. 3. Exploring issues of social justice: The book definitely opens doors to a discussion on racism and what that looked like at the time of the civil war.
4. Social movements and social change: The book takes place during the civil war a time period in which people are fighting for social change. The book also depicts how Say is scared to go back to his unit but he feels he owes it to Pink to go back and fight. The character faces a moral struggle to do what is best for him or to do what is right.
5. Taking social action: Say took social action by retelling the story, and keeping the memory of Pink alive. He took action by raising awarness.

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