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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  5 reviews
A young African-American girl is traumatized when a gang attacks her and her brother on their way home from school and spray-paints her face white. Based on a true story.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Walker & Company (first published December 1997)
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Cara Byrne
In Ntozake Shange's first children's book, she tells the story of racist attack against a young girl, Helene-Angel and her brother as they walk home after school. Helene-Angel, a pre-schooler, has white paint thrown on her face by a group of what appears to be adult white men and then is overwhelmed by the media attention drawn in by the attack. The ending of the book focuses on Helene-Angel's grandmother's assertion that she is "beautiful," "a hero of the race," and "A brave girl," as well as h...more
I really liked how the author decided to start the book because upon reading that sentence and seeing the illustration of the children with the scared look on their faces I was immediately drawn in. I also feel that the way they drew up each seen was very relatable to students. It also makes you feel like a part of the class at the same time. The children can also relate to the main character because everyone has been embarrassed in class before or been called on but didn’t know the answer and a...more
Melody Richardson
Shange, N. and Michael Sporn. (1997). Whitewash. New York, NY: Walker and Company.

Subgroup: Brother-Sister relationships

Genre: fiction

Topics: brother-sister relationships, race relations

Synopsis: A young girl and her brother are walking home from school one day, as usual (despite their distaste for one another) until a gang of white boys surround them. They are told they aren't american and the boy is beat up and the little girl's face is painted white. They were both lucky to not be hurt more,...more
Whitewash, written by Ntozake Shange, is a wonderfully written story that sheds light on racism and discrimination. Helen-Angel is recalling a day when her and her brother, Mauricio, were walking home when a gang surrounded them. This gang bullied her and painted her face white. "Something about doing me a good deed, then about "how to be white" or "American."" This passage really stuck out to me. The author used such powerful words to portray emotions and feelings. This story truly touched me;...more
Edward Sullivan
I was unfamiliar with this book. I came across it in a used book store and glad I did. It's a powerful story of young black girl who is the victim of a vicious racist attack.
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Ntozake Shange (pronounced En-toe-ZAHK-kay SHONG-gay) is an African-American playwright, performance artist, and writer who is best known for her Obie Award winning play for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.

Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize.
More about Ntozake Shange...
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo Ellington Was Not a Street Some Sing, Some Cry Coretta Scott

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