|Ain't burned all the bright|
Author: Reynolds, Jason
A smash up of art and text that viscerally captures what it means to not be able to breathe, and how the people and things you love most are actually the oxygen you most need.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 514995
Caldecott Honor, 2023
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/01/21)
School Library Journal (+) (05/13/22)
Booklist (+) (12/01/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (74/82/98)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2021 *Starred Review* Reynolds and Griffin’s searing indictment of the status quo is expressed in the voice of a young, unnamed Black man, whose timely comments resonate beyond the personal to the universal. Divided into three parts called “Breaths,” the text begins as the boy ponders why his mother won’t change the TV channel from repetitive news stories, what keeps his brother glued to his video game, and the implications of his sister’s plan to attend a protest. Breath Two introduces the boy’s sick father, who, isolated in his bedroom, can’t stop coughing. Breath Three finds the boy feeling suffocated and searching for an oxygen mask, eventually finding lifelines in small but meaningful details around him. Reynolds’ text—printed on strips of white paper affixed to notebook pages—comments on a seemingly changeless world on fire, on protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and on the seeming omnipresence of COVID-19—all of which reflect a world without the freedom to breathe. It’s a bleak picture but not one without hope of change. Griffin’s remarkable mixed-media collage pictures that employ a palette largely of black and red are a perfect complement to the text, capturing its tone and style exactly while expanding and enhancing the poetic words. The result is an important combination that expresses the zeitgeist of a troubled time. It’s essential reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: There's nothing Reynolds can't do, and his readers know it. This creative, timely reflection will be particularly admired by teens seeking change. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/13/2022 Gr 7 Up—Reynolds's breathtakingly poetic prose melds seamlessly with Griffin's effective multimedia images to capture a story of our time that should be read by everybody. Written in just a few lengthy sentences over the space of a few hundred pages of artwork, the book follows a Black family during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The family's young protagonist captures the very real confusion and fear of 2020 in two interwoven narratives: his family's experience with the pandemic, including his father's battle with COVID-19, and his reaction to the persistent violence and systemic racism on the news. Reynolds has the talent of conveying so much in very few words, and along with Griffin's stunning images of fire throughout the book, powerfully conveys the overall theme of oxygen and being unable to breathe. The reminder to breathe in and breathe out throughout carries so much weight as memories from early 2020 resurface, from patients in hospital beds fighting for a good breath to pleading for one breath while under the weight of police to watching the news with the feelings of helplessness and suffocation. Although reminiscent of heartbreaking and tumultuous times, this novel is permeated with so much comfort and hope as it leaves readers with the solace that togetherness brings. VERDICT For everyone who has felt the weight of grief and fear or the comfort of love and family in the last two years, this is a must read.—Amanda Harding - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.