Book Beginnings Quote:
"This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race."
Quote from page 56:
"In 1776 Thomas Jefferson, a thirty-three year old delegate to the Second Continental Congress, sat down to pen the Declaration of Independence. At the beginning of the declaration, he paraphrased the Virginia Constitution and wrote 'All men are equal.'
Bears repeating. All men are created equal.
Say it with me. All men are created equal.
But were slaves seen as 'men?'''
Summary: The history of racism., but not presented in a history book format or using a tone one expects to find there either.
"An amazingly timely and stunningly accessible manifesto for young people....At times funny, at times somber but always packed with relevant information that is at once thoughtful and spot-on, Stamped is the book I wish I had as a young person and am so grateful my own children have now." ―Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming
Review: I finished reading Stamped on May 30th, just days after George Floyd was murdered at the hands of a police officer. Of course my head was swirling with everything I was learning from news reports but also what I was learning and feeling by reading this book. Jason Reynolds, a respected award-winning YA author, came alongside Ibram X. Kendi to remix the 2016 National Book Award winner for nonfiction: Stamped From the Beginning. Reviewers for the Oprah Magazine say this book should be essential reading material on every high school curriculum. It takes the academic adult version of the book, Stamped from the Beginning, and makes "it fast-paced and blisteringly honest language that will grip teens from page one." I would add that most adults will find it gripping, too. One does not need to be a teen to find this book very compelling.
Right now is prime time to pick up some books on the topic of racism and antiracism. We can do better and be better. This is a good place to start. I recommend it highly.
What I liked about the book:
- The tone makes the book and information very accessible for teen readers. The chapters are short and always end on a note which increases interest to read on.
- I learned a ton and I'm an old person who should have known most of this information by now.
- Every part of the book leads the reader to thinking about themselves and what kind of person they want to be from this time forward: a segregationist (hater), an assimilationist (a coward); or an antiracist (someone who truly loves).
- There are plenty of pages of end notes and bibliography to enhance future research projects.
What I didn't like about the book:
- The 1st edition of the book was published by Little, Brown and Company and the book is friendly with plenty of white space on the pages to invite teens to read it. Another edition of the book published by Gale is not friendly. The font is too large and the binding makes it seem very schoolish. Anyone who knows teens, knows this is a turn off.