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Grandpa, Is Everything Black Bad?
By Sandy Lynne Holman

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Review by Allison Martin

In this book, a young African-American boy learns to appreciate his African heritage with his grandfather.

First off I have to say that I love this title - it is sadly touching and gets to the heart of our children's concerns when encountering the racism that is sadly still too prevelent - in media and in our day to day lives. Grandpa, Is Everything Black Bad? lists numerous images where black connotes bad - in the media, at funerals, in sayings - with this question as the refrain. But his grandfather comforts him by sharing the proud culture of their African heritage, including drumming, writing, and nature. This colorful book ends on a positive note as the little boy and his grandfather share the pride in their joint heritage. A sweet conclusion is to discover that the grandfather in the book is modeled on the actual grandfather of the author. My only caviot with this book is that the grandfather speaks in dialect, which while honest can be off putting to its use in schools. However, its theme is one to which many families can relate.

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