Author: Mary Hoffman
Artist: Caroline Binch
Genre: Racism / Feminism / Self-Esteem
Year Published: 1991
Year Read: 2010
Content Rating: Ages 4+ (Themes of Prejudice and Sexism)
“Amazing Grace” is a truly inspiring story from the mind of Mary Hoffman along with illustrations by Caroline Binch and it is about how an optimistic girl named Grace tries out for the role of Peter Pan even though her classmates thought that she cannot be Peter Pan. “Amazing Grace” is a truly inspirational story about believing in yourself no matter what other people say.
Mary Hoffman has done a magnificent job at writing this story as I honestly have never read a story that confronts the issues of race and gender in a children’s perspective. Mary Hoffman subtly tackles these issues that Grace has to confront when she wants a role of Peter Pan and her classmates tell her that she cannot be Peter Pan because she is a girl and black and many children’s books have never tackle these issues of race and gender in a subtle and light hearted way as the issues of race and gender in this book are never fully explicit and dark. Many children will definitely relate to Grace’s predicament as they might have confronted a situation where they are told that they cannot do a certain role in a play because of their race and gender and many children will feel inspired by Grace’s determination to become Peter Pan no matter what the other kids told her. Caroline Binch’s illustrations are extremely beautiful and realistic, especially of the image of Grace herself as she wears pigtails and she always has a toothy smile on her face every time she acts out her favorite scenes, which are equally beautiful as Grace is dressed in different kinds of costumes in her roles.
“Amazing Grace” is a brilliant book about believing in yourself and going for your dreams no matter what race or gender you are and this book will definitely be an inspirational story for children who want to go for their dreams. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.