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The talk : conversations about race, love & truth
Book
2020
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* For some, "The Talk" is a form of insuring life and survival. For others, it's facing the reality of the covert ways that their worth is diminished and even trivialized. Still, there are those for whom "The Talk" is a harrowing realization of the systems of oppression from which they benefit. In this collection of short stories, letters, and poems, the defining factor of "The Talk" is race and racial identity. From letters affirming the beauty of being bilingual, to preparing young Black children for encounters with the police, and even a perspective shift on criminalization of certain peoples by way of Greek mythology, there are hard lessons that this collection takes on with a spirit of loving urgency. Contributors include children's authors such as Grace Lin, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Christopher Myers, among others, spanning a range of diverse racial backgrounds and vantage points as they address young people about the weight and severity of racial inequities in the U.S. Black-and-white illustrations from various contributors offer a range of stylistic approaches that renders each entry as distinct from the others as the experiences that are shared. Though readers of color may find a number of these entries far too familiar, there is striking versatility in the approaches, cultures, and experiences of the authors that will compel readers of all backgrounds to continue forward. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

PW Annex Reviews

"There are myriad versions of ‘The Talk' because there are myriad ways to be human," reads the Hudsons' (We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices) foreword to this richly inclusive volume. Here, the pioneer founders of Just Us Books present a riveting collection of 17 candid discussions on racism, identity, and self-esteem by 30 Black, Indigenous, and other children's book creators of color. A wide variety of storytelling modes—poetry, essays, lists, letters, "comix frames"—move each conversation forward in an engaging manner. In "Remember This," Renée Watson, with illustrations by Shadra Strickland, offers powerful affirmations to Black girls on how to "love the kink of your hair, the width of your hips, and the brown of your skin." In "Not a China Doll," Grace Lin explains stereotypes about East Asian women and advises resistance in a heartwarming illustrated letter to her daughter. Through contributors' personal experiences with systemic issues, readers will recognize the necessity of having open dialogue with loved ones. A compelling call to action for readers of any background to initiate ongoing conversations about change. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Author Biography

Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson are the co-founders of Just Us Books, Inc. For over thirty years they have published, written, and collaborated on books that reflect the diversity of Black history, heritage, and experiences.

@hudsonwade
@diversitymom_ch - (Random House, Inc.)

Annotations

An evocative follow-up to We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices frankly explores the subjects of racism, identity and self-esteem in the stories and artwork of 30 award-winning contributors, including Raúl Colón, Nikki Grimes and Peter H. Reynolds. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)

"Thirty diverse and award-winning authors and illustrators capture frank discussions about racism, identity, and self-esteem"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Thirty diverse, award-winning authors and illustrators invite you into their homes to witness the conversations they have with their children about race in America today in this powerful call-to-action that invites all families to be anti-racists and advocates for change.

As long as racist ideas persist, families will continue to have the difficult and necessary conversations with their young ones on the subject. In this inspiring collection, literary all-stars such as Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears), Adam Gidwitz (The Inquisitor's Tale), and many more engage young people in frank conversations about race, identity, and self-esteem. Featuring text and images filled with love, acceptance, truth, peace, and an assurance that there can be hope for a better tomorrow, The Talk is a stirring anthology and must-have resource published in partnership with Just Us Books, a Black-owned children's publishing company that's been in operation for over thirty years. Just Us Books continues its mission grounded in the same belief that helped launch the company: Good books make a difference.
 
So, let's talk.

Featured contributors: Selina Alko, Tracey Baptiste, Derrick Barnes, Natacha Bustos, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Raul Colón, Adam Gidwitz, Nikki Grimes, Rudy Gutierrez, April Harrison, Wade Hudson, Gordon C. James, Minh Lê, E. B. Lewis, Grace Lin, Torrey Maldonado, Meg Medina, Christopher Myers, Daniel Nayeri, Zeke Peña, Peter H. Reynolds, Erin K. Robinson, Traci Sorell, Shadra Strickland, Don Tate, MaryBeth Timothy, Duncan Tonatiuh, Renée Watson, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Sharon Dennis Wyeth

"The go-to book for talking to kids about race and privilege. Thoughtful. Thought-provoking. A must-read for every family." --Ellen Oh, editor of Flying Lessons & Other Stories and cofounder of We Need Diverse Books

"The ingredients are all here. May this magnificent collection inspire us to move from dialogue to deep action." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review - (Random House, Inc.)

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