By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In February, Black History Month, many books for young people focusing on the black experience are showcased. Meghan Cox Gurdon in The Wall Street Journal reminds us that for years books about black children were seldom published.
The first full color picture book featuring an African- American child, A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, is marking its 50th anniversary. Peter in his red snowsuit is sad that the snowball, saved for tomorrow in his pocket, disappears. Cox Gurdon says his “innocent universality” is what we remember.
Two current favorites are recommended by the Teen Librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson, is about three African-American brothers navigating the challenges of life after their mother dies from complications of diabetes. The temptations of an easy life pose a threat to their brotherly bond.
And Romiette and Julio, with a powerful female central character tells much about interracial love. Both engrossing reading.