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When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke
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When We Say Black Lives Matter

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When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke
Hardcover $16.99
Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9781536222388

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  • Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9781536222388 | 6-9 years

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Product Details


The Afro-Caribbean slam poet created this picture book to explain Black Lives Matter to her extended family, living in more than eight different countries around the world.
—The New York Times Book Review

A powerful, painful, and honest celebration of being Black in the world today. This book not only affirms young Black children, but calls on all children to acknowledge the importance of Black lives and the Black Lives Matter movement. Without shying away from painful history and hard truths, Clarke, an Australian writer and illustrator of Afro-Caribbean descent, raises the call to bellow, sing, laugh, and cry, “Black Lives Matter”. . . a book that deserves a spot in every library.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Clarke’s text is poignant and mesmerizing, with design elements that raise the text to an artistic level, shaping it around the art and highlighting active and emotional words in color: enough, dancing, radiant, precious. The art is truly outstanding, gripping the heart from the very first spread and not letting go. . . . This slim book contains a necessary and healing exploration of our current moment that will remain relevant for decades to come. An astonishing work of art and a crucial addition to every bookshelf.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A gorgeous and moving tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. . . Clarke’s bold, saturated illustrations arrestingly spill their rich colors across entire pages and use simple figures and silhouettes to convey vast emotions and moments of bravery, fear, and triumph. . . . A stand-out offering that celebrates, affirms, and supports efforts to overcome adversity.
—Booklist (starred review)

With assured rhythm and poetic grace, Clarke offers this stirring epistle from a couple to their growing Black child, patiently enlightening them on the meaning of Black Lives Matter. . . At once a solemn eulogy, stirring paean, and tender triumph of a book.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Through lyrical verse that is a mixture of ode and anthem, Clarke uses bold artwork to emphasize key words for verbal and visual impact. . . Clarke’s chalk and oil illustrations on textured board complement the poetry in their simplicity but do not detract from the depth of the message.
—School Library Connection (starred review)

Poignant, timely. . . balances the hope of social change with the pain of past and present trauma, creating a joyful celebration of Black art and culture while fully acknowledging the violence and tragedy that marks the very real experiences of many Black people in the U.S.. . . . a compassionate, exultant, and honest look at a social movement and its motivations and a guaranteed conversation starter with youngsters.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

A love letter from parent to child. . . . Textured, motion-filled collage art depicts Black lives as full and loving despite the pain inherent in much of Black history. . . Clarke highlights the joys and struggles of what it means to be Black in ways that are affirming for all readers
—The Horn Book

[Clarke’s] poetry bursts off the page. . . Her jewel-colored, exuberant, emotional illustrations are a wonder.
—The Buffalo News

A wonderful explanation of the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter.’. . . will open conversations with young and old about family life, strength, perseverance, and tolerance. In this gentle look at the BLM movement, the values of heritage and equality resonate on every colourful abstract page.
—The Londoner


Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books AWARD 2021

NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Books for Young People AWARD 2022

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