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Two poets, one white and one black, explore race and childhood in this must-have collection tailored to provoke thought and conversation.
How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don't know each other...and they're not sure they want to. Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. This remarkable collaboration invites listeners of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.
Please note: The original source audio for this production includes noise/volume issues. This is the best available audio from the publisher.
"The result is an unusually candid book for pre-YA kids about race and difference, allowing for the possibility of the mistakes (the word is right in the subtitle) but also a hopeful outcome as Irene and Charles find enrichment in their friendship.' (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)
"Salt-and-pepper teams of poets, illustrators and characters offer young readers a fresh and heartwarming take on bridging the racial divide. The poems show that social interaction is the key to finding and forging common bonds. I hope that this book will spark conversations across school cafeterias where students too often self-segregate." (Carole Boston Weatherford, author of Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement)
"The poems delicately demonstrate the complexity of identity and the power of communication to build friendships." (Publishers Weekly, starred)