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Voices From the Gaps

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Children's Literature

Circle of Fire by Evelyn Coleman
As a young black girl growing up in the South during the 1950s, Evelyn Coleman knew first hand the ugliness that racism brings. Though the story told in Circle of Fire is fictional, it based on real life situations at the time. Because of Colemans own racial struggles throughout her life, she felt honored to write about the topic and wanted to make sure her message got out to the youth of today. "I hope you will remember that hate is always dangerous. And that it is important to speak out when you see something wrong" Coleman states in her message to readers(149). Coleman cannot stand the idea of racism and makes it clear throughout the story, and so does Mendy Thompson, the main character in Circle of Fire.

El Coyotito Y La Viejita (Baby Coyote And The Old Woman) by Carmen Tafolla
El Coyotito Y La Viejita (Baby Coyote And The Old Woman) by Carmen Tafolla Illustrated by Matt Novak $15.95 Wings Press, 2000 Reviewed by Amy McNally, with her daughter Grace Chadwick, age 4 The Trickster Teaches Recycling Described on the inside cover as "a bilingual celebration of friendship and ecological wisdom," Baby Coyote and the Old Woman uses the trickster character of the coyote to illustrate the ways in which ecological awareness may be taught through intergenerational communication.

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Andrea Davis Pinkney's Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters is an amazing, entertaining, and educational journey back through time for both children and adults alike. It accurately depicts the changing face of America for all people.

Money Hungry by Sharon G. Flake
In the tale Money Hungry, Sharon G. Flake uses multiple writing techniques to bring us into the life of Raspberry Hill, a thirteen-year-old girl living in a housing project. Raspberry has a unique condition for a girl of her age: she'll do anything legal for the almighty dollar.

My Daughter, My Son, The Eagle, The Dove by Ana Castillo
Castillo, in her afterword to My Daughter, My Son, the Eagle, the Dove, explains: "The huehuehtlatolli, metaphorically thought of as mirrors held before the disciple, were repeated over and over until the lessons were engraved in the person's heart and would serve as lifetime guides. " Castillo's book contains translated excerpts of these ancient teachings, the huehuehtlatolli.

Mystery of the Dark Tower by Evelyn Coleman
Mystery of the Dark Tower is set in 1928; 12 year-old Bessie Coulter moves with her father and younger brother Eddie to Harlem from Burlington, North Carolina. Bessie's sick mother does not accompany them, nor are provisions made for her eventual arrival-- a situation that arouses Bessie and Eddie's suspicions.

Neela: Victory Song by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Neela: Victory Song is the story of Neela, a girl of twelve who is faced with the most important decision of her life. Set in India in 1939 and written from the perspective of a young Indian girl, this children's story recalls India's fight for independence from British rule.