They Were Strong and Good
I will acknowledge that there are things written ...more
A bunch of reviewers complained about the stereotypes and racism. This is why this book, by national treasure Robert Lawson, has an average 3.27 rating rather than the 5 it deserves. But we're reading the bowdlerized version....the more offensive language in the 1940 original has been altered. (See the book's Wikipedia entry for some specifics.) I supposed it's your prerogative to find such things offensive (e.g., the author explains ...more
The etched drawings in this book were very striking. Slightly cartoonish, but mostly realistic.
Lawson writes about his grandparents and parents from the past to the present. As someone who is interested in family history, I loved the idea of illustrating one's own history and writing it out for future generations. Family history doesn't have to be dry, though, nor does it have to be dumbed down for children. The repetition of "they were strong and good" got pretty old- ...more
2. This book reflects on the lives of Robert Lawson’s ancestors, throughout history, living in America. It shows them braving Carribbean storms, walking through the streets of New York, and fighting in the Civil War.
a. This book was a recipient of the Grand Caldecott award in 1941. The illustrations are clearly the most important element in this book, and they are beautiful and well done.
b. Although I am not a huge fan of the story itself because it is rathe ...more
Now, I'm sure many people lambast this book because it was written before the time of political correctness. One of his g ...more
I quite enjoyed this. It is the story of the author's parents and grandparents. He tells several stories about each of them, all trying to show that they were strong and good. I know that many people will find these stories troublesome as they lived in a time of slavery and racist attitudes. While I do not condone these attitudes...I find them abhorrent, I do believe a book written in the 30's about people who lived even earlier is likely to contain attitudes we would find ...more
Related material on Debbie Reese's blog:
Winner of the Caldecott award in 1941, They Were Strong and Good is a traditional story that illustrates the long family blood line of a classic American family. As the story proceeds, the reader learns about a young man and woman who met and created the start to a tremendous family. The background of the grandparents and then parents, leads to the source of the stories in which are being told, the narrator. Traveling on the Eliza Jane Hopper brig, living on a tiny farm in New Jersey, and p...more
I've reached a point where I'm honestly tired of the political correctness attitude of denying the past - and in painting things very black and white. Books are deemed 'offensive' or 'not offensive' in the broadest of strokes which doesn't work. There are always shades of grey. This book fits into that category.
First - the time this book came out. Published in ...more
Lawson tells six episodes from the lives of his parents and grandparents––one for each. Actually there are only five because Lawson has nothing to tell about his father's mo ...more