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Pink and Say

4.46  ·  Rating Details ·  9,041 Ratings  ·  585 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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Jan 23, 2013 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Patricia Polacco Fans!!!

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 19, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
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
Feb 08, 2017 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, childrens
Patricia Polacco has written many picture books that are beautiful, heartbreaking, and memorable but "Pink and Say" is the one that makes me cry every single time I read it. The author shares the story that she claims has been passed down through the generations from her great great grandfather Sheldon (Say) Curtis about his friendship with Pinkus (Pink) Aylee during the Civil War. Say is a teenaged white soldier from Ohio who is injured in battle in Georgia and discovered by Pink, an African Am ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Dolly rated it it was amazing
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 did not like it
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
Sep 26, 2009 Jessica Hanley rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Kathy Davie
May 02, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
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
Demeyia Clark
Mar 01, 2015 Demeyia Clark rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 30, 2007 Malbadeen rated it it was amazing
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
NS - Cami Houston
Nov 05, 2009 NS - Cami Houston rated it it was amazing
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
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 15, 2017 Denise rated it really liked it
Good picture book highlighting the harsh reality of the civil war. May be tough for sensitive readers.
Meredith _Martin
Feb 17, 2015 Meredith _Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3-5-literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philip Carlson
Nov 04, 2014 Philip Carlson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Michelle Prata
Mar 04, 2016 Michelle Prata rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Nicole Prescott
Nov 28, 2011 Nicole Prescott rated it really liked it
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
Jan 25, 2010 Linden rated it it was amazing
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
Amber Harper
Sep 01, 2015 Amber Harper rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 26, 2007 Kathy rated it liked it
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
Feb 28, 2010 Dena rated it really liked it
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
Carrie Butler
Apr 04, 2011 Carrie Butler rated it liked it
Shelves: rdg-334
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
Peyton Jay
Oct 13, 2014 Peyton Jay rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 28, 2015 Amy Rae rated it really liked it
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
Kristin Aker Howell
Aug 17, 2012 Kristin Aker Howell rated it really liked it
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
Mar 18, 2009 Luann rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, 2009, 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.
"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.
Oct 28, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 01, 2014 Joanna Marple rated it it was amazing
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.
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