Wednesday, January 23, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Title:  Pink and Say

Author:  Patricia Polacco

Genre: Racism / Civil War / Friendship

Year Published: 1994

Year Read: 2013

Publisher:  Philomel

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Some Violence and Themes of Racism)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 

Many of the books I had read by Patricia Polacco were extremely emotional and sad like “The Junkyard Wonders” and “Thank You, Mr. Falkner,” but none of them had hit me so close to my heart than her book “Pink and Say.”  “Pink and Say” is a story about the friendship between two boys of different races whose ending will make you want to cry for many years to come.

Sheldon Russell Curtis was a young soldier who was injured during the Civil War and was left for dead until a young African-American boy named Pinkus comes to his aid and brings him home with him.  Pinkus lived with his mother, Moe Moe Bay who was kind and treated Sheldon like her own son.  Unfortunately, Sheldon and Pinkus knew that they were putting Moe Moe Bay in jeopardy since they escaped from the Civil War and the marauding Confederate troops were chasing after them.  Now they must find a way to get away from Moe Moe Bay before it is too late!

Reading most of Patricia Polacco’s books, I have noticed that all of her books always have an underlying theme of accepting other people, no matter how different they are while tying these stories to her real life experiences, which I always believed made her stories even more memorable to read.  Now, after reading this book “Pink and Say,” I have to say that Patricia Polacco has truly defined the importance of accepting other people’s differences even under hardships such as war.  I loved the way that Patricia Polacco had portrayed the relationship between Pinkus, a young African-American soldier and Sheldon, a young Caucasian soldier, as they treated each other like good friends, despite being of different races.  It was fantastic and emotional seeing what the Civil War had done to Pinkus and Sheldon and my heart was actually breaking when they were scared of getting anyone hurt in this war, but they know that they have to fight this war to put an end to slavery.  I have always read books about the Civil War, but never had I read a book that actually showed me how the Civil War had affected the people fighting in it in a more up close and personal way.  Patricia Polacco had done a brilliant job at showing the horrors and painful emotions that the characters suffered through this war, while stating that war itself is terrible, but you must fight for what you believe is right.  Patricia Polacco’s illustrations are as usual, gorgeous to look at as the images of Sheldon and Pinkus communicating with each other was a truly beautiful scene to look at.  I also loved the way that the characters look as realistic as it really brings so much reality to this story.

Parents should know that this picture book has some images of characters getting shot and blood leaking out of their wounds.  This might disturb younger children who want to read about the Civil War, so parents might want to read this book to see if it is appropriate before reading it to their child.  Also, the ending was extremely sad as it involves the death of one of the characters (which I will not reveal because I do not want to spoil this book for anyone) and parents might want to read over these scenes before they read it to their children.

Overall, “Pink and Say” is easily Patricia Polacco’s saddest yet most emotional book to ever be written and anyone who wants to read about the Civil War through a personal account should definitely check this book out!  I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the scenes of characters getting shot might disturb younger children.

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