|Black girl rising|
Author: Barnes, Brynne
A love letter to and for Black girls everywhere, Black Girl Rising alchemizes the sorrow and strength of the past into the brilliant gold of the future, sweeping young readers of all backgrounds into a lyrical exploration of what it means to be Black, female, and glorious.
Kirkus Reviews (05/15/22)
School Library Journal (04/02/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/02/2022 K-Gr 3—Lyrical, timely, and marvelously illustrated, this work extols the beauty, bravery, and possibilities of young black girls. The author explores strong role models, female and male, from the past to inspire readers to envision the prospects of a glorious future. Using first names, known works, or a likeness provided by the illustrator, famous people are referenced in an enigmatic manner. Young readers may recognize the use of a single name to refer to Maya Angelou, Serena Williams, and Langston Hughes. However, the references to Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others are not necessarily as obvious. Thus, elementary students may not understand the connections the author is trying to make between the historical references of strong Black voices in the past and the impact they have on encouraging the creativity and contributions that are currently possible to today's generation. A long banner in the Pride colors flows and unfurls across three spreads and poignantly, with sort of withered scorched ends. Here and elsewhere, the book's lettering is an integral part of the manuscript, with flowing lines and occasional words in boldface. The advanced reading level, implied social commentary, and absence of a specific story line may make it difficult for this book to find an audience at the elementary level. However, the rich vocabulary, flowing narrative, and specific word emphasis does encourage exuberant read-alouds. VERDICT With its prevailing theme of empowerment, this book could be used in a slightly older language arts class, as part of a history class research project, or as content for competitive oratorical contests.—Lynne Stover - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2022 In this ode to being an intersectional Black girl, Barnes’ poetic text speaks directly to the reader, asking in mock admonition who you (a Black girl) think you are to be so beautiful, bold, and bright—the true message being that, in the face of being told to hide everything amazing about themselves, Black girls should stand proud. Black girls can twirl their natural hair, be strong, achieve, climb to great heights, and, most important, love themselves. The book’s allusions to prominent Black people, past and present, are many, their first names peppered throughout the text (Toni, Maya, Langston, Zora, Mari) and likenesses reflected in Fazlalizadeh’s dreamlike paintings. Sweeping double-page spreads rendered in oil and acrylic paints exude color and light, while soft portraits of Black girls of varying skin tones, hair textures, and ability heighten their position as unique individuals worthy of all life has to offer. The book’s overall message of overcoming the negative expectations of socializing girls to be silent and hide will resonate with a wide range of readers. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.