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Pink and Say

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  7,815 ratings  ·  501 reviews
There are few picture books written about the Civil War, and none are as powerful as this one. This story, about how a young black soldier rescues a white soldier, opens young readers' eyes to the injustices of slavery and the senselessness of war. Highly charged emotionally, this masterful retelling of a true story is seen through the white soldier's eyes.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 15th 1994 by Philomel Books
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Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Best Children's Historical Fiction
66th out of 538 books — 611 voters
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia PolaccoPink and Say by Patricia PolaccoThunder Cake by Patricia PolaccoThe Keeping Quilt by Patricia PolaccoMr. Lincoln's Way by Patricia Polacco
Best of Patricia Polacco
2nd out of 55 books — 45 voters

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Community Reviews

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Many of the books I had read by Patricia Polacco were extremely emotional and sad like The Junkyard Wonders and Thank You, Mr. Falker, but none of them had hit me so close to my heart than her book “Pink and Say.” “Pink and Say” is a story about the friendship between two boys of different races whose ending will make you want to cry for many years to come.

Sheldon Russell Curtis was a young soldier who was injured during the Civil War and was left for dead until a young African-American boy name
Lisa Vegan
Dec 21, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages eight & up only
This book is tragic and heartbreaking, and it’s another Polacco book that made me cry. I could actually see rating it anywhere from 1 to 5 stars; I had to think a bit before I assigned my number of stars rating.

It’s as close to non-fiction as it can get; Polacco comes from a family of storytellers and the Say in the title is her great great grandfather. This story came down from Say, whose full name was Sheldon Russell Curtis.

This story takes place when he was in his mid teens and was a very rel
Mar 27, 2012 Dolly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children

Patricia Polacco has this uncanny ability to tell a story that gets straight to my heart and makes me cry. I was so choked up that I found it difficult to read the last few pages without my voice wavering. The fact that it is a true story and that it is her great-grandfather's story makes it all the more powerful. A few days after reading this story with our girls, I just had to read it to myself again. Without fail, it brings up all the same emotions as before.

The Civil War was the bloodi
Jan 08, 2009 Kelly rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Kelly by: teacher friend
Over the years, many books have become favorites of history teachers to help students better visualize a specific period of time. Pink and Say is used by many elementary and middle school teachers to discuss the War Between the States. Though it is listed as fiction, many educators try to state it is factual. With the sesquicentennial on the horizon, it is imperative to make sure what is being taught in the classroom is accurate and true.

The setting for Pink and Say is somewhere in Georgia afte
Jessica Hanley
This book initially appealed to me because I have heard many wonderful things about it, and I knew it was a picture book that appealed to older readers. After reading it, I felt it held up to its reputation. The story was heart-warming, yet informative, and it gives the reader lots of information about the Civil War, race realtions, and slavery, in a rich and powerful format. Polacco's word characterization provides an insight into her characters that is not always seen in pcture books and reall ...more
NS - Cami Houston
This book brought tears to my eyes. A colloquialistic account that could easily be read by 3-7 or even 8th grade. Patricia Polacco, once again, has written a masterpiece of its kind. I could honestly find no weaknesses in a story where a young black soldier finds a white soldier shot in the fields during the Civil War. Both boys were about 15 years old. From two different regiments, the black soldier named Pink, quenches his fellow soldier's thirst and carries him to what he used to know as home ...more
Kathy Davie
A children's picture book remembering Pinkus Aylee, a colored boy in the Union Army who saved another.

My Take
Oh, I just wanted to cry throughout the story...and unfortunately, I got my "wish" at the end.

It's a tale that has had many permutations throughout war, and this one is of two 15 year olds fighting for their own reasons.

Whew, Polacco doesn't pull any punches in this when Pinkus meets up with Say and gives it to him straight. Reasonable, but, whoa. A nice bit of history for the kids with
Apr 30, 2008 Malbadeen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: saps like me
Shelves: picture-books
I'm promoting this book to 5 starts after reading it for the 2nd time ever last night. I kind of either love or hate Patricia Palocco (especially after hearing her speak) but the 2 times i've read this book (aloud. once to students, once to my 8 year old son), i've had the same, certain emotional reaction that produces a particular physiological response that i'm typically not given to.
She spans a lot of emotions in this little book. the soldier that is eager to fit for his cause, the reluctant
In this powerfully written and illustrated picture book by gifted storyteller Patricia Polacco, readers are taken back to the Civil War. Sheldon Curtis (Say) is lying near a Southern battlefield. When Pinkus Aylee finds him, he carries the wounded boy back to his mother's house. She nurses him back to health, and the two boys become friends. Tragedy strikes, and as they're on their way back to join the Union troops, they are captured by Confederate troops and separated once they reach a camp for ...more
Philip Carlson
This book follows the friendship and kindness that develops between a young African American soldier named Pink and a young White soldier named Say during the Civil War. Say is discovered badly wounded near a battlefield and is taken by Pink to his house in the countryside, where his Mother nurses the young soldier back to health. As he recovers, Say forms a bond with Pink and his Mother, and begins to understand what life is like as an African American family during this time. When Pink's Mothe ...more
Demeyia Clark
This book was one of the best historical fiction picture books I have ever read. I wish I could give it more stars. I have not read a book in which the content was as informing and realistic as Polacco made it. As a person who typically does not get emotional when reading, this book will evoke some emotions.

Pink and Say tells the story of two young Union soldiers in the Civil War. Say is found by Pink wounded, left in a field. Say does the unthinkable and while wounded himself, decides to take S
Meredith _Martin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peyton Jay
This was such an amazing book about the civil war, and the struggles people were faced with. This story showed how soldiers were often still young boys back then, as young as pink, as well as say, who was an African-American soldier at the time. This friendship in the story was something that most likely wasn't as common. This book did a really great job describing the details of the war, and giving a little background info behind what went on in the war for children to be able to read and under ...more
Amy Rae
On the one hand, this book's text made me cry. On the other hand, I can't stand Polacco's illustration style. Also, it might be more fiction than fact, though I really can't find any other confirmation of the reviewer's claims. It would be nice if a professional resource like School Library Journal would look into this.

Anyway, I can see the book being useful for introducing children to the atrocities of the Civil War, even if I have lingering questions (and am unlikely ever to enjoy the pictures
Amber Harper
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2010 Linden rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fifth grade and up
Recommended to Linden by: I love the author's work
Based on true events in the author's life, Pink and Say tells the story of two young Civil War soldiers. Pink, Pincus Aylee, a black Union soldier, finds Sheldon "Say" Curtis wounded and carries him to his own mother for healing. Some time later the two are captured and sent to the infamous Andersonville prison in Georgia.

The year it was published, Pink and Say earned its place as a staple for seventh grade read-alouds at our school. After the students have re-fought the Civil War during their
This touching true story, passed down by one of the protagonists through the generations of his family, follows two young Union soldiers deep in Confederate territory. When Sheldon Curtis is lying wounded in a field, a fellow soldier named Pinkus Aylee finds him and takes him home to his mother Moe Moe Bay. Pinkus and Moe Moe, former slaves, care for Pinkus as he recovers and the boys become fast friends. But they know they can't stay forever--they must rejoin the battle and fight for the end of ...more
Nicole Prescott
I really enjoyed reading this book about two young boys who were brought together during the Civil War and formed an unforgettable bond. I used this book for part of a Civil War unit for 5th graders and it was a great fiction book to help students connect with an event that seems to be so far removed from their lives. The two characters met when Pink found the wounded Say and brought him back to his house with him and his mother. They were so accepting of each other, despite the obvious differen ...more
This is a picture book that tells a true story that was handed down to the author through several generations of family members. Polacco tells how her great-great-grandfather, Sheldon Russell Curtis, was wounded as a boy of fifteen fighting for the Union army during the Civil War. He is rescued by Pinkus Aylee, who is also a young Union solder, but also a former slave. The boys’ brief time together is cut short when they are captured and brought to a prison camp. Sheldon survived to tell the tal ...more
Nichole Hurst
Pink and Say is a heartfelt story about two young boys who befriend each other during the Civil War. Pink is a white boy who finds the injured Say, an African American boy, while both were fighting for the Union. The two boys have drastically different backgrounds, but are able to forge a friendship. Say has lived his entire life as a slave in the south, while Pink is from rural Ohio and lives with his mother. Pink brings Say back to his home, and his mother nurses Say back to health. Reluctantl ...more
Carrie Butler
Opening this book, I was surprised to find that what I thought to be the first page of the story was not. It was the dedication page. I was thrown off because not many books that I have seen or read have a full illustration on the dedication page, but this one does. The way the story was introduced was also unusual but I found it intriguing. I really like how Patricia Polacco, in many of her stories have multi-racial characters because this is not found in very many children books. The dialect u ...more
Reading Level: 5th Grade and older
15 year old Pinkus (pink) Aylee, a black union soldier ends up separated from his unit and finds 15 year old Say Curtis, a white union soldier wounded. Pink manages to get to his Moe Moe's (mother) house where she nurses Say back to health. A beautiful friendship develops despite the horrors they face. Maurauders come to the house and while Pink & Say are well hidden, Moe Moe is killed. Devestated, the boys head off to return to their units and are captured
I used this book to teach the signpost "Contrasts and Contradictions" to my 4th and 5th grade students. I was able to go into a lot of depth and my students had a lot of great discussion.
Joanna Marple
The best picture book I have read on the civil war. I cried at the end. Stories like this make me wish there were still more publishing wiggle room for lengthier picture books.
Kristin Aker Howell
Sometimes I think Patricia Polacco's writing gets overlooked because her illustrations are so gorgeous. The words in Pink and Say are lovely. This is a true Civil War story handed down through generations of Patricia's family. It's an American story re-told with love and honesty. Unfortunately, kids don't often get to study the Civil War much until high school. This book is a good way for a younger group of children to approach the issues our country faced and the effects of politics on things a ...more
Anna Kozlowska
“Pink and Say” by Patricia Polacco is one of my historical fiction children’s book. It is a fictionalized family history story passed down from the author’s great-grandmother to her grandma to her father and finally to the author-artist herself. Patricia Polacco tells the story from the eyes of Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say), a white boy who ran away from his Ohio twenty-fourth unit during the American Civil War, but got shot while getting away. Pinkus Aylee (Pink), an African American boy from th ...more
Madison Niksich
Polacco, P. (1994). Pink and Say. New York, New York: Philomel Books.

Pink and Say is a powerful picture book about two friends that experienced the trials and tribulations of the Civil War together. When a white boy named Say was hurt on the battlefield, Pink, a runaway slave, helped him reach safety at his mother Moe Moe Bay’s home. Say realizes that this war is so much more important than he originally thought. Moe Moe Bay is murdered and Say is driven to fight. Both boys are eventually taken
Renee Clark
This is a very powerful story about a dark time in America's history. This story is placed during the Civil War. A young African American soldier rescues a white soldier. Despite their different races, they become very good friends. One part I thought that showed that they cared for one another and this was going to be a life long friendship is when they were sitting around the table with a bible Pink told he would teach Say how to read one day. Also, it's shown how Say grew to care for Pink whe ...more
Emily McCracken
Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco is the story of two young boys fighting for the Union in the civil war. Say is young white boy who has been injured and left in the battle field. He is going in and out of consciousness when Pink, a young African American boy finds him. Pink carries Say to his home where his mother, Moe Moe Bay, is. Moe Moe Bay cares for her son and Say and because they are in confederate territory, she keeps them hidden from the Confederate soldiers.
This story has been passed d
Georgia Karr
Pink and Say is a picture book about two Union soldiers during the Civil War. Pink is black, and Say is white. Pink comes across Say injured in a field and carries him all the way to his house in order to save him. Because of this they share a close bond. In the end Say makes it out of the war, but Pink is killed in a Confederate camp. I think this is an excellent book to use with high school students to introduce a unit on the Civil War. It shows the camaraderie of the soldiers, regardless of r ...more
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Reading Rams Summ...: Pink and Say 2 10 Jun 09, 2014 04:47PM  
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