Behind the Vids: Courage, a Middle Grade Story For All of Us-Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Barbara Binns did the impossible! She pulled a white privileged woman into the heads of two black brothers living on the South Side of Chicago! And I liked being there.

Courage centers on the consequences felt by T’Shawn and his community when T’s older brother Lamont returns home from prison. (Sadly this is not an uncommon event for many families, particularly those with black Fathers and sons.)

By making the story from T’Shawn’s point of view, Barbara has given those of us who live far from that world a way into it. We empathize with T and the choices he’s forced to make. We feel a Mother’s need to help her son overcome his criminal past, while trying to keep her family together. We revel in, and maybe envy, 4-yr-old Rochelle’s ability to simply accept both of her brothers. It’s the an old adage, the more personal the story, the more universal.

In a time when we need more diverse books, Courage provides a mirror for those who don’t always see themselves on the printed page, and offers all of us some insight on how to handle a complex family situation.

Readers 11+ and up, should run to pre-order this book, which comes out 7/31/18.

Our detailed review of Courage will be up on our YouTube channel tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can watch, or just listen to our interview with Barbara if you haven’t already. Reminder: You can listen to our vids in the car, on the bus, while you cook etc. We don’t mind if you don’t stare at our silly faces!

Fun Fact: Barbara teaches a course for female writers on how to write male characters.

Please spread the word about our project/channel and encourage others to subscribe to this newsletter and/or our YouTube Channel if you think they would speak to them.

Because we view our channel as a shared experience, we’d love it if you’d send us suggestions of what you’d like to explore next on this journey. Ex. You want us to look at how personal identity plays a part in choosing acceptance. You may even know someone who can help lead us along this path. If so, brilliant! You can send us names/contact info, video ideas, and whatever else you can think of by replying to this letter, or tweeting me, or posting a comment on our YouTube channel. We can use all the help we can get.  

Purple Passion of the Fortnight:
Purple Swim Trunks
(Okay, T’Shawn probably wouldn’t wear these, but I would!)

Posted in Acceptance, Books, Diversity, Inclusion, Self-Acceptance by with no comments yet.

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