Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Black Snowman

Written by: Phil Mendez

First line: Somewhere in a lonely grass hut in western Africa, an aged storyteller prepares for the arrival of the village children.

Why you should read this book: It seeks to restore a measure of the lost pride that rightfully belongs to African-American children living in the inner city, by tying their culture to that held in a magical kente cloth that has survived the long journey from Africa to America. Young Jacob hates being poor, and feels that poverty and misfortune are all that he, as a black child, can expect, which causes him to also hate being black, and to hate the color black, and everything dark in his world. When his brother, Peewee, wants to build a snowman from the dirty, black snow in their neighborhood, they discover the magical kente cloth, which, like other magical scarves, brings their snowman to life, and teaches Jacob to see the beauty and strength he holds within himself, and to reconnect with the love of his family.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You hate snow in any form.

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