Published by Little, Brown and Company
Summary: It started with Ibram X. Kendi’s book Stamped from the Beginning. Then Jason Reynolds did a “remix” for teens: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, and now there is this version for elementary kids. In keeping with Reynolds’ assertion that Stamped isn’t a history book, Cherry-Paul writes that her book talks about history but is “directly connected to our lives as we live them right this minute.” She suggests using rope as a metaphor when learning about race: a rope can lift climbers, join people together, or be used as a weapon. In 24 chapters she traces the history of racism in America from 1415 to the present. Throughout the narrative there are boxes inviting readers to pause and think more deeply about an idea that’s been introduced and how it relates to them. The final section, “An Antiracist Future” calls kids to lead their generation in learning all they can about the “tree of racism” and to finally be the ones to chop it down. Includes a timeline, glossary, and lists for further reading. 176 pages; grades 3-6.
Pros: Every bit as compelling as Jason Reynolds’ book, written at a level that will be accessible to kids as young as eight or nine. Essential reading for kids, teachers, and parents.
Cons: Similar to my “Con” for the Reynolds book, this felt like a whirlwind tour through history; readers will only get a taste of many different interesting people and events. Hopefully, they’ll be inspired to use the reading lists to learn more.