Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Pink and Say
Author & Illustrator: Patricia Polacco
Publication Year: 1994
Location: Personal Collection
Awards: Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, & Kirkus starred reviews; Irma S. and James H. Black Award, ALA Notable, National Council for Social Studies Notable, Horn Book Fanfare
Summary: In this true story from Polacco's family history, a white soldier Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say) is wounded and is rescued by a black soldier Pinkus Aylee (Pink). Pink takes Say back to his home where Pink and his mother Moe Moe Bay tend to him while he recovers. While Pink is anxious to return to the fighting, Say is scared and doesn't want to go. But when Moe Moe Bay is killed by marauders, the devastated boys set off. They are captured by Confederate troops and taken to Andersonville prison. Say is released months later, but Pink is hanged immediately because he is back. Say was Patricia's great-great-grandfather and in a touching epilogue she pledges that her book stands as memory of the life of Pinkus Aylee. This is my all-time favorite Polacco book and definitely on the list of my all-time favorite books ever. I dare you to read it without getting at least a little teary-eyed!
Classroom Ideas: Obviously this book can be shared during a study of the Civil War. The themes of loyalty and friendship here are strong and the book brings home the heartbreak of war.