A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will see illustrations of multiple historic Black figures -- including Maya Angelou, Jackie Robinson, and Louis Armstrong -- and moments from the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the book. These images can spark conversation about Black history.
It's important to loving yourself first and most of all, despite anything happening in the world. There's a central focus on positive things in life such as peace, compassion, and hope.
Positive Role Models
There's an eclectic and inclusive range of characters in the book. People of different ages, colors, and religions come together throughout the story, sharing a common bond.
Violence & Scariness
There's an illustration of a Black Lives Matter protest in which a police officer holds up a baton to the crowd as a threat, but no one is struck.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart, by author, poet, and Coretta Scott King Award winner Zetta Elliott (Dragons in Bag) and illustrated by Noa Denmon, won a 2021 Caldecott Honor. Narrated by a young boy, it follows him as he skateboards through his neighborhood, talking about his feelings hidden "deep down inside of me" following a police shooting. It's a poetic unveiling of the various emotions and thoughts that many Black Americans experience. Activities of everyday life are depicted in contrast to the violence enacted against Black people in America, and the demand for justice that follows. Elliott's poem highlights the importance of self-love and not shying away from your emotions while hoping for a better future for the world.
Is It Any Good?
This poetic book has a serious message as it takes readers through a young boy's neighborhood and draws readers in with a sense of familiarity and warm tones. Zetta Elliott's words and Noa Denmon's illustrations in A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart break down emotional barriers and encourage love and vulnerability. The main character takes a personal journey, encourages readers to reflect on the impact of events of the past and present on their lives, and offers hope for the future. The story includes powerful images of historic Black figures such as Maya Angelou, Jackie Robinson, and Louis Armstrong, and moments from the Black Lives Matter movement.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Caldecott Medal and Honor Books
Books About Racism and Social Justice
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