Author: Michelle Cook
Illustrator: Cozbi Cabrera, R. Gregroy Christie; Bryan Collier; Pat Cummings; Leo and Diane Dillon; AG Ford; E.B. Lewis; Frank Morrison; James Ransome; Charlotte Riley Webb; Shadra Strickland; Eric Velasquez
Audience: 3-8 years old
Summary: This book highlights some key figures in the African American fight for equality. Their contribution resulted in bringing about change that has shaped American history. The author uses a chronological progression from our early ancestors who fought to present day Barack Obama who holds the most powerful office as president. The story illustrates that our children can soar because their future have been paved by the path our ancestors have taken.
Literary elements at work in the story:
Genre: Picture book collective partial biography featuring significant African American in history
Setting: Historical progression of some African American who have made significant contributions to our history.
Characterization: Each person is noted in one sentence for the contribution that each has made to bring about change.
Plot: The author follows along a chronological time line and attempts to show how each individual contribution impacted another leader that followed.
Theme: The theme of this book is centered on the achievements of American Africans who helped to shape the future, brought about change and left a lasting impact on the generation to follow.
Point of View: Story begins with a first person pronoun “our” and then shifts to a third person point of view.
Style: Author uses a single sentence to sum up the contribution of each person that has been highlighted. She begins the next sentence with the contribution made from the previous person and then the page turns.
Gender: No gender stereotyping; Story is a collective biography of specific African Americans.
Race: African American focus.
Culture: Contributions of key African American figures during certain periods of America’s history.
Economic: African Americans struggling to gain equality
Ability: No representation of anyone being handicapped
Scripture : 1 Kings 8:57-58
Theology talk: Ancestors and ancestry
Faith Talk Questions:
1. Why are our ancestors important?
2. The Bible points to some important ancestors for our faith. Can you name any of our biblical ancestors?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Dee Osbourne-Smart
Our Children Can Soar by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.