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Author: Mason, Margaret H.
A black man tells his grandson about a time when, despite all the things his hands could do, they could not touch bread at the Wonder Bread factory.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 143395
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.30
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 26520
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/11)
School Library Journal (03/01/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2011 Look at these hands, Joseph. / Did you know these hands / used to . . . Starting from the refrain, a man on each double-page spread tells a smiling boy how to tie his shoes, play the piano, hit a line drive, and more. Cooper’s signature style of softly blurred illustrations in sepia shades shows the bonds in a loving family. There is an abrupt break in the verse as the man remembers, Did you know these hands / were not allowed to touch / the bread dough / in the Wonder Bread factory? The bosses said that white people did not want to eat bread touched by black hands, so blacks were only allowed to sweep the floor, work the line, and load the trucks. Then the story’s tone shifts again, and stirring pictures celebrate the historic civil rights and union protests that brought attention to the issue, and a long author’s note offers more context. The story’s roots in rarely told history will widen the audience of this moving title to older readers, too. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2011 Gr 1–5—This picture book based on oral history from the Civil Rights Movement abounds in the rich, concrete symbolism that young readers will understand and retain. The narration is poetically told in the African-American oratory style made famous by Rev. King, and Grandfather's voice sets the tone, made strong through repetition: "Look at these hands.../Did you know these hands/used to make the ivories sing/like a sparrow in springtime?/Well, I can still show a young fellow/how to play 'Heart and Soul'/—yes, I can." Piano playing is only one of things the man shares with grandson Joseph. His booming narration then shifts in a dramatic, yet unsentimental manner: "…Did you know that these hands/were not allowed to mix/the bread dough/in the Wonder Bread Factory?/…Because the bosses said/white people would not want to eat bread/touched by these hands." Expansive spreads in Cooper's signature muted, earth-toned oil-wash style follow, chronicling what those hands did to confront that injustice: writing petitions, carrying signs. Joseph takes over the final part of the narrative and tells his grandfather how his hands now can hit a ball, play piano, and even bake bread. Children need to know that they "can do anything./Anything at all in this whole wide world." An author's note gives the provenance of this provocative story and other examples of "unwritten rules" for African-American workers prior to 1964.—Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.