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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
Based on the rhyme “Rosa sat, so that Martin could walk. So Barack could run, so our children can fly – Yes, we can!” this children’s book tells the true story, in simple language and delightful photos, of the Black Americans who led the struggle for equality in the United States of America. From Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King Jr. and on to Barack Obama, the story outlines their magnificent contribution to history, which, as the book points out, holds relevance throughout the world, particularly as we continue to aspire to equality for all. It is also a tale about never giving up – it is never wrong to reach for the sky, whoever you are!
Living through the apartheid years in South Africa, and seeing change in my country, made me appreciate the book even more. It is essential for children who are ‘born free’ (this South African term is appropriate here) to understand and acknowledge a debt of gratitude to the brave icons who stood up against oppression of any kind. I enjoyed this book. It is simple but pertinent and is not didactic at all. Children who have never heard of or read about this kind of color consciousness will understand the themes easily. Clear, full color images highlight relevant people, sites, or landmarks that contribute to the book’s message. There is such a weighty background to the history of black people in America that I feel the author could have included a brief outline of themes such as slavery and emancipation. This touching book is suitable for children of all ages. It will make an excellent teaching aid for parents or educators covering this area of history.