An American Story

Hachette Audio. Jan. 2023. 11p. $4.99. ISBN 9781668621165.
PreS-Gr 3–Ms. Simmons needs her students to know, but “How do you tell a story/ this hard to hear,/ one that hurts/ and still loves?” Music—rhythmic, plaintive, chanting, beckoning—begins and ends Gonzalez’s powerful performance that confronts the challenges of teaching the horrific reality of slavery to young children. That the aural adaptation opens with dedications by both Alexander and artist Dare Coulter and finishes with “A Note from the Author” as well as “A Note from the Illustrator,” clearly indicates that to read and listen in tandem is the recommended method for the most edifying consumption. Coulter’s extraordinary visuals that took six years to create—clay and polymer sculptures, acrylic and spray paint on wood panels, charcoal drawings on gessoed paper—bestow upon Alexander’s verses heightened resonance.
VERDICT Libraries should make all formats readily accessible to youthful readers and their parents, caregivers, and of course, teachers.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing