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Parents' Guide to

Magnolia Flower

By Stephanie Snyder, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Beautifully illustrated folktale of freedom after slavery.

Magnolia Flower Book Cover

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This modern adaptation brings beauty to a story of oppression often told for how ugly it is. Magnolia Flower, from its charming title and colorful pages to its lovely figurative language and endearing love story, takes the first step towards accomplishing author Ibram X. Kendi's important mission: making the work of Zora Neale Hurston accessible to young readers. And it does so delicately, shifting the focus from the horrors of this time in history to the love, loyalty, labor, and perseverance that Black and Indigenous people have exuded for centuries, without denying the traumas.

Though it is a picture book, it is better suited for readers who are familiar with the true history of the United States. Additionally, the folktale structure and flowery language could be difficult for the youngest readers to digest. Nevertheless, young eyes will be captivated by the stunning artwork of illustrator Loveis Wise. The book is a true launchpad for recentering the narrative of U.S. history, honoring Zora Neale Hurston and her legacy, and building cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Book Details

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