Loretta Little

Looks Back

Three Voices Go Tell It  A monologue novel

Andrea Davis Pinkney  (Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney)
   Memories will get us through one way or another.  Andrea Davis Pinkney has written a children’s/young adult story about a black child born in the era of sharecropping, Jim Crowe and Civil rights.  The main character of Loretta Little is the one who starts the memories telling of her father and as the years progress each member of the family shares particular memories that are good and bad during some very pivotal eras of American history and what this history means to them and their race and culture.  Loretta on page 2 explains the concept of ‘reaching’ for whatever knowledge and understanding that you can find.  On page 50, the family learns how discrimination affects all and still further along in the story the Little family learns what it really means to be American.  Andrea and Brian have sections of this book shaded in black with white type and even gray with normal type to give the reader emphasis on these various historical events affected the Little family as well as all people of the eras.  Aggie on page 205 writes down all the Q’s and A’s on what it means to be ‘black’ in the South and as Loretta actually looks back it is a story of gaining freedom and learning about acceptance and having hope.

    This is a great book to teach about diversity that social workers and counselors could use to teach the concept of diversity, cultural competence and discrimination while improving communication and decision making skills.  The illustrations by Brian Pinkney were drawn what looks like charcoal and pencil drawings to give the effect of the characters telling the stories with all the good times and the times of feeling angst at what was/is going on in the world.  This is a monologue novel of three voices and each bringing their own voice to the whole story along with the many reactions and interactions of the story and the readers of this story at any age and how life occurs to all.

Through an evocative mix of fictional first-person narratives, spoken-word poems, folk myths, gospel rhythms and blues influences, Loretta Little Looks Back weaves an immersive tapestry that illuminates the dignity of sharecroppers in the rural South. Inspired by storytelling’s oral tradition, stirring vignettes are presented in a series of theatrical monologues that paint a gripping, multidimensional portrait of America’s struggle for civil rights as seen through the eyes of the children who lived it. The novel’s unique format invites us to walk in their shoes. Each encounters an unexpected mystical gift, passed down from one family member to the next, that ignites their experience what it means to reach for freedom.

ISBN:  978-0-316-53677-6  hardcover
ISBN:  978-0-316-53676-9  ebook
Little, Brown and Company
269 pages

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Book Room Reviews BOOK ROOM REVIEWS - BOOK REVIEWS & WRITING TIPS | VISIT NOW Copyright (C) http://www.bookroomreviews.com. Read more at... http://www.bookroomreviews.com/ .