Title: Pink and Say
Author/Illustrator: Patricia Polacco
Summary: Grade 4 Up-This picture book set during the Civil War is very different from the usual Polacco books in terms of content and audience. It is certainly the deepest and most serious book she has done. Say Curtis, 15, a white boy, lies badly wounded in a field in Georgia when Pinkus Aylee, an African American Union soldier about Sheldon's age, finds him and carries him home to his mother, Moe Moe Bay. Say is nursed back to health by Moe Moe Bay's nuturing care. But then she is killed by marauders, and the boys return to their units. They are then are captured and taken to Andersonville, where Pink is hanged within hours of their capture. One of the most touching moments is when Pink reads aloud from the Bible to Moe Moe and Say. Say tells them that he can't read, but then he offers something he's very proud of: he once shook Abraham Lincoln's hand. This is a central image in the story, and is what ties the boys together for a final time, as Pink cries, "'Let me touch the hand that touched Mr. Lincoln, Say, just one last time.'" The picture of their clasped hands, with the hands of the soldiers wrenching them apart, is exceptionally moving. Polacco's artwork, in fact, has never been better. She uses dramatic perspectives, dynamic compositions, and faces full of emotion to carry her powerful tale. History comes to life in this remarkable book.
Domains of Social Justice:
4. Social movements and social change: The book takes place during the civil war a time period in which people are fighting for social change. The book also depicts how Say is scared to go back to his unit but he feels he owes it to Pink to go back and fight. The character faces a moral struggle to do what is best for him or to do what is right.