Pink and Say
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Pink and Say

4.45 of 5 stars 4.45  ·  rating details  ·  5,803 ratings  ·  407 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
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Best Children's Historical Fiction
52nd out of 479 books — 489 voters
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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
Maya Benberry
This is a great book about equality between races. The story is basically about a black soldier who saves a white soldier during the Civil War. The black soldiers name is named Pink who is from Georgia. Sheldon "Say" Russell Curtis, a young farm boy from Ohio is the white soldier. Both are fighting for the US Army. Pink stumbles upon Say, who had been wounded, in a "blood-soaked pasture" while in search for the 48th Colored Troops. Pink, quenches his fellow soldier's thirst and carries him to wh...more
Theresa Womack
When picking up the book Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco I notice right off the top that the book is vertical in orientation. This tells us that the book is going to probably be about people. The cover has a picture of two little boys reading a book. One boy is Caucasian the other is African-American. When flipping over the book and looking at the back cover, I notice that the book has picture of an American flag and what appears to be two soldiers sleeping on the ground. From my background kno...more
This book by Patricia Polacco is both educational and inspiring! This piece of historical fiction gives us insight into the lives of two union soldiers- a white man, Sheldon Curtis, and a black man, Pinkus Aylee. Pinkus, who goes by Pink, found Sheldon, who goes by Say, injured and nearly dead. Pink courageously carries Say for days until he finds himself "safely" back home, where his mother, Moe Moe Bay nurtures Say back to health. It is here that Pink and Say's friendship grows stronger by the...more
Charmie McKinney
Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

This is a story about two young boys plight during the Civil War. The story was passed down from generation to generation until it was past along to the author of this book. Sheldon aka "Say" was left for dead until one day Pinkus Aylee aka "Pink" found him. Both boys were in their teens and had been left behind by their troops. Pink managed to get Say up and out of danger temporarily and carried him to where Moe Moe Bay lived (this happened to be Pink's mom). Moe...more
Like a well-told folktale, passed down from generation to generation, Patricia Polacco brings to life the story of her great-great-grandfather Sheldon Russell Curtis and his friend Pinkus Aylee during The Civil War.

Polacco depicts the unlikely friendship struck between the two, Pink and Say, as they help each other deal with the struggles of growing up in such a tumultuous time of the nation’s history.

In the beginning, Pink finds Say knocking on death’s doorstep in the bloody battlefields next...more
"Pink and Say" is a picture book about two young Union soldiers during the Civil War. Though the country is divided over race, the friendship between this black and white boy triumps. The story teaches that the love of a friend and the comfort of a family, even if it's not your own, can bring you strength during the hardest times in your life. I highly recommend this book for older children who are studying the Civil War.
Another tear-jerker from Patricia Polacco! She says that this book "serves as a written memory of Pinkus Aylee since there are no living descendants to do this for him." He was a young soldier who fought in the Forty-eighth Colored division during the Revolutionary War. Pinkus rescued Sheldon "Say" Curtis when he found him lying wounded on the battlefield. Say was Polacco's great-great-grandfather.
Angela Diamond
Title: Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco, Published by Philomel Books 1994

Summary: Pink and Say, is based on a true story of two young men during the Civil War. Pinkus Aylee, was an African American soldier who finds a white soldier from the North, Say, short for Sheldon Russell Curtis, with a gun shot wound in his leg. When he discover him the wounded soldier he decides to help him and bring him to his house where his mother, Moe Moe Bay, helps take care of Say. Say reveals to Moe Moe Bay that t...more
During the Civil war it was rare for whites and blacks to help one another out on the battle field. Slain and wounded Sheldon Curtis is hurt and left to deteriorate. Not only does Pinkus Aylee help Sheldon Curtis, a wounded solider but he helps to nourish him back to health with the help of his mother. After Curtis’s recovery the two decide they want to rejoin the union troops but stopped and captured then sent to prison. Pinkus was put to death shortly after his capture, so this book is a writt...more
Eliza Thomas
Historical Fiction

This book takes place during the Civil War and tells the story of a black soldier saving a white soldier. It has great use of dialogue, which helps the reader understand the characters' feelings. There are many sad parts that may be hard for students to handle. It is a true story that was passed down by the author's family.

It would be a great read aloud for 4th and 5th graders. I think that 3rd graders are too young for it because of the sad and violent elements. The pictures a...more
Shannon Alexander
Pink and Say are both soldiers fighting in the civil war. Pink is a former African American slave and Say is white. Pink comes across an injured Say and rescues him and takes him back to his home. It is illegal to house soldiers that are supposed to be fighting, so this puts Pink's mother in great danger. The confederates find the soldiers. Say is imprisoned for awhile, while Pink is hanged.

I think this book would be pretty iffy for young children. I think it would be okay for 4th grade and up...more
Kate Babbitt
Pink and Say is a great story that teaches kids a perspective of Union soldiers being captured and separated. It follows Say's story on how he survived and lived to pass on the story. In the end you find out that it is a story that has in fact been passed down to the author of the book, which gives the student's an even better realization and perspective. This book was used in one of my field experience classrooms and the students were really engaged. The teacher kept them guessing and predictin...more
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Reading Rams Summ...: Pink and Say 2 9 Jun 09, 2014 04:47PM  
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