28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World, is a stylized, kid-friendly introduction to the people and events that have shaped African-American history. The brightly illustrated picture book uses quotes, poems, and brief synopses to present 28 pivotal episodes, one for each day of Black History Month.
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What's the Story?
28 DAYS: MOMENTS IN BLACK HISTORY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD traces the arc of African-American history through 28 dates, one for each day in February, beginning with slave and patriot Crispus Attacks' martyrdom at the beginning of the American Revolution and ending with Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009. Along the way, kids are introduced to sports icons such as Jackie Robinson and Arthur Ashe, entrepreneurs such as Madam C.J. Walker and Oprah Winfrey, civil rights heroes Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall, and many other remarkable characters from the political, scientific, and entertainment worlds. Each day is celebrated with a slightly different tribute, from rhyming couplets to mnemonic devices to text pulled directly from court decisions, along with a brief summary by author Charles R. Smith Jr. and unique collage-and-oil illustrations by Shane W. Evans.
Is It Any Good?
Though it's great to see many obscure legends receiving their proper place in history, these profiles leave a bit to be desired. The summaries are mostly solid and hopefully will inspire further research, but there isn't really enough information to provide the context necessary to understand such a broad stretch of overlapping and intertwined histories. And even young readers will be left wondering why the rhyme and rhythm of the poetry are inconsistent and uneven.
The bright illustrations help humanize the characters, but it's tough to look past the clunky writing, even if the point is shedding light on these often underrepresented pieces of the American puzzle.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the importance of Black History Month. Why do we take this time every year to pay tribute to the accomplishments of African-Americans?
How have sports and politics served as mirrors, reflecting the progress and struggles of the African-American experience?
Which of the people in the book had you heard of, and which were new to you?
- Author: Charles R. Smith Jr.
- Illustrator: Shane W. Evans
- Genre: History
- Topics: Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, History, Holidays
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publication date: January 13, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 10
- Number of pages: 56
- Available on: Hardback
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Our Editors Recommend
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Inspirational and informative intro to an American hero.
Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens
Gorgeous, uplifting picture-book bio of the Queen of Gospel.
For kids who love to learn about history
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