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The Dream Keeper
Langston Hughes
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The Dream Keeper

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  657 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Illus. in black-and-white. This classic collection of poetry is available in a handsome new gift edition that includes seven additional poems written after The Dream Keeper was first published. In a larger format, featuring Brian Pinkney's scratchboard art on every spread, Hughes's inspirational message to young people is as relevant today as it was in 1932.
Paperback, 84 pages
Published March 1st 1962 by Alfred A. Knopf
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(showing 1-30 of 1,384)
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Kimber Carnahan
Feb 15, 2012 Kimber Carnahan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eced-221
In "The Dream Keeper and Other Poems," Langston Hughes captures the reader's attention automatically with his delicate prose and imagery. Every poem is different, but all hold a link to a view of the African American culture that Hughes tried so hard to educate people about. Every poem is beautiful, some are funny, and some cause the reader to think. It's a great collection that I would highly recommend.
The book expands awareness of a culture and time that children today may not know much about.
Jan 27, 2011 Kayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, reviewed
This was my favorite poetry book when I was little. I must have checked it out at least six times from my elementary school library. "Hold Fast to Dreams" was the first poem I had ever memorized (just called "Dreams" in this edition) and was asked to recite in front of my 3rd grade class. There are many poems in this collection that will always hold special memories for me (particularly those in the Dream Keeper section).

"Hold Fast to Dreams"

Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
life is a broken-w
Tori Johnson
Mar 30, 2012 Tori Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In sixth grade, my teacher gave me The Dream Keeper and Other Poems. It was the first book of poetry I ever owned. It was the perfect first. Paperback, and easy to carry around in my backpack, or keep in the car. Full of rhythmic poems that pounded through my head. Metaphors, allusions, social commentary that I thought I understood. And each time I read it and understood more, I realized how much I did not know. It contains the first poem I ever read out loud, Alabama Earth. Still I can hear the ...more
This book was good, and it was interesting to read the songs that the African Americans would sing, and how the author incorporated in some of the poems. I would recommend this book to people who like to read poems.
Anastasja Kostic
Jul 09, 2015 Anastasja Kostic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.
Mohamed  AL-saqqa
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow
Cara Byrne
Nov 19, 2015 Cara Byrne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Hughes' first collection of poetry for young readers, he offers poems about the natural world, broken hearts, and quiet girls. It's a nice collection with brief poems that capture the subjects that Hughes was most invested in during the period, though with a subtler political edge. In this contemporary addition of Hughes' first picture book includes Pinkney's beautiful black and white relief illustrations, updating the original illustrations that largely presented adults with beautiful sketch ...more
Nov 07, 2015 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short (80 page) collection is a great selection for those who don't read a lot of poetry. Langston Hughes is a favorite poet of many because his poetry is so accessible (though many often overlook the subversive and political undertones of his writing). This would also be a great selection to give a young person who hasn't read much, or any, poetry.

Brian Pinkney illustrated this edition, and his drawings are beautifully rendered, capturing both the spirit of Hughes' poetry and the beauty i
707 Jared
Oct 10, 2012 707 Jared rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jared Ramos 707 The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes

In my eyes the author a person who think of what other people wouldn't think of, Langston Hughes thinks what's about what's going to happen next,he doesn't think of the negative he thinks positive, Langston Hughes thinks outside the box.

The post-it I wrote said "the author is trying to say, there is always something larking right around the corner". I said that because the way that poem was written there was always something else right after
Meg Stolte
May 10, 2014 Meg Stolte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poems
Langston Hughes’ “The Dream Keeper and Other Poems” is a collection of poems expressing emotions and celebrating African American life. While some of the poems rhyme, many do not, so this would be a helpful collection to use when teaching older students the purpose of poems (which isn’t always just to rhyme!). I would likely use these poems with upper elementary, grades 3-6, to teach different aspects of imagery and metaphors. This could also be used in conjunction with social studies lessons ab ...more
Aug 30, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
This is a wonderful collection of poems by Langston Hughes. The poems are broken up into different sections, including The Dream Keeper, Sea Charm, Dressed Up, Feet O'Jesus, Walkers with the Dawn, as well as Additional Poems, which includes seven poems that "seem especially appropriate for children."

The poetry has an emotional depth that many children may not truly empathize with, but can appreciate. I really liked the explanation on Blues, contrasting the Negro folk songs with spirituals.

And I
Jul 22, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From my History of Children's Literature class:

I guess I have been in an historical mood, because this week I chose another older classic, The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, by Langston Hughes. This book was originally published in 1932, but the particular edition that I had was published in 1994, and contains scratchboard illustrations by Brian Pinkney (see an example in the cover art). This collection of poems has not won any awards, but in my opinion, it would be totally deserving!
The poems ar
Sydney Hall
I picked this poetry book because of the variety within the book. Langston Hughes was a very famous black poet, artist and musician. He contributed greatly to the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930's. This book includes a collection of some of his most famous poems. A few of my favorites that I read were: "Dreams", "Joy" and "When Sue Wears Red." I think that doing a study of Langston Hughes would be a great way to incorporate multiple points of diversity. For example: African-American poetry, it br ...more
Mister Mank
Nov 20, 2015 Mister Mank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Langston Hughes's only collection of poetry written for young people includes some of his most finely crafted and widely known work, poems like "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "I, Too," and "Dreams." Many of the poems are brief and understated, begging the adult reader to read slowly and appreciate the simple beauty of language. Despite the intended audience, Hughes explores a broad range of themes of varied complexity — nature, love, loss, race, death, faith, to name a few — producing a collectio ...more
Jun 01, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Here are 25 queer authors you need to be reading ... that is, if you aren't already!


It isn't known whether Hughes was gay, straight, bi, or asexual, but he was portrayed as a black gay icon in filmmaker Isaac Julien's 1989 film Looking for Langston. Some scholars have opined that Hughes was asexual. But first and foremost, Hughes was a writer, a poet, an activist, and one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance. In other words, he was an artistic force to be reckoned with.
Lauren Gibson
Feb 12, 2012 Lauren Gibson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eced-221
I read The Dream Keeper and other poems by Langston Hughes.
SUMMARY: It was about mostly african americans and the early struggles they had to undergo in life, and racial issues. There were also many poems about nature and religion (which i think could be controversial). The author is obviously very religious and has a very good sense of culture and patriotism to his people.
CRITIQUE: There were a few poems that had a rhyming element but not many, there were more poems that had word repeats at t
Alex Tierney
The Dream Keeper and Other Poems was a collection of poems written by the author. There were different sections in the book that had certain types of poems. There was no story or plot in the book because there were all different kinds of poems. Each section however had the same theme.
Some of the poems in the book rhymed and some did not. There were many poems that were simpler rhymes and others that had more complicated rhyming schemes. The poems that did rhyme were consistent so that the child
Nov 07, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the record, I’m no poetry expert. When I read collections from poets I’m making an effort to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy them in the same way a connoisseur of the genre would. There are some poems I love, but as a whole, poetry isn’t something I gravitate towards.

That being said, Hughes is undeniably talented. His poems show a deep pride in his African-American roots and it’s easy to understand why his name has become synony
Kerry CS Literary Jewelry
Langston Hughes may have intended The Dream Keeper and Other Poems to be a collection of poetry for younger readers but for all their simplicity and accessibility, the poems in this collection are lovely, lyrical, and powerful enough to resonate with poetry lovers of all ages.

Full of soul, whimsey, joy, (and a healthy dose of gospel and blues), the thing I love the most about this book is its tone of celebration, affirmation, and hope, even as it acknowledges struggles both past and present.
Clare Wojda
1. Genre - Poetry
2. Awards -
3. Grade Level - 3-4
4. I would read different poems out of this book to my class over a longer period of time. That way they would have more time to mull over one poem at a time. I would also have the book on display in the class so they could pick it up during free time and read from it themselves. During this unit, I would have the students each keep a dream journal. Everyday they would write down dreams from the previous night if they remembered them, along with da
Chandra Fleenor
Poetry is something many people don't read. I didn't love the book but it was good. Most of the poems are short and easy to understand but a few of them were hard for me to follow. I wouldn't read the book in class but I would read a few of them. Langston Hughes is a great poet and I would recommend reading some of his poems even if you don't read this book.
A collection of poems about hope, dreams, and African-American heritage.

This edition includes black and white scratchboard illustrations by Brian Pinkey which add to the dream-like quality of the writing. The movement of the scratched-out white lines stands in contrast to the black background ink. Images are small, generally appearing just above or below a single poem. Some take up an entire adjacent page.

The poems are short, conversational, and down-to-earth, relaying thoughts and feelings abo
Feb 29, 2016 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book of poetry, intended for young readers, would be most meaningful for young adults and adults...middle school and up. As I read I started marking certain poems with stick-on notes. I have enough pages marked, I need to buy the book. Brian Pinkney's artwork for this edition is stirring to the heart.
Sep 09, 2014 Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm typically not a huge fan of poetry, but I did enjoy this book. Some of poems really stood out and spoke to me, while others didn't. I have to say my favorite was titled Snail. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a nice quick read or enjoys poetry!
This book is about different poems that were written by african-americans. The included dreams and love stories and even wishes. Most of the poems were sorrow kind of but some were happy poems. The poems are very elaborate and shows different peoples mood/perspective.
I can relate this to Amari from Copper Sun because they both included stories about their family, friends, journeys, and freedom. Both had different moods that occurred.The poems and Amari both achieved happiness and love througho
His poetry has a deep meaning for the most part, especially for blacks. Many of the poems were about blacks and their feelings and problems. Many were really beautiful.

The illustrations portrayed blacks and I didn't like them.
Dec 09, 2009 Stephene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-books
6th-12th grades
Hughes once again astounds the reader with his powerful and eloquent language. Pinkney's scratchboard pencil illustrations bring the characters in Hughes' poems to life and add depth and character to the already human/character defining language. Young readers will be inspired by the pieces and see the journey African-Americans have traveled to be in the place they are today. Text is rich but approachable for middle schoolers and the messages of strength, passional and survival ar
Hughes' poetry goes down so easily, and Pinkney's scratchboard illustrations shine on every page - they alone are worth picking up this book. His use of blues rhythms in the "Dressed Up" section, the settings of so many of the poems, African American vernacular, and religious references (Feet O' Jesus) tie the poems to their cultural context. But the brilliance of Hughes' skill is that his poems reach into different domains of life and relationships, giving his poems the capacity to shine into d ...more
Sep 08, 2014 Jasmyne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has some really good poetry! It was deep. I actually could connect to some of the poems. I'm not much of a person to read poetry, I'd much rather write it. I love this book though. Such a good book!
I love the poetry of Langston Hughes, and this is a beautiful collection with gorgeous woodcut illustrations. It is usually found in the children's area; however, I think it is a great read for all.
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Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue."
More about Langston Hughes...

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The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.”
“Quiet Girl

I would liken you
To a night without stars
Were it not for your eyes.
I would liken you
To a sleep without dreams
Were it not for your songs.”
More quotes…