Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Pink and Say

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
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Dec 21, 09

bookshelves: childrens, picture-books, biography, history, non-fiction, reviewed
Recommended for: ages eight & up only
Read in December, 2009

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 reluctant Union soldier during the American Civil War. Pink is Pinkus Aylee, born a slave, also fighting for the Union and also a teenager. Pink saves Say when he finds him injured with a bullet hole in his leg.

These two develop a friendship and that is the uplifting part of the story. However, this is a grim story. It’s about war and its horrors, and the brutality experienced by African Americans by the Confederacy. I’m now once again interested in the Andersonville POW camp. It’s been years since I’ve read anything about it, and it’s just briefly mentioned here.

These two are interesting characters. Pink knows how to read, even though it’s illegal for a slave to be taught to read. Say has shaken the hand of President Lincoln.

I first shelved this as fiction and historical fiction but after reading it changed the shelves to biography, history, non-fiction. I’m not sure whether that’s accurate labeling, but unless I see evidence to the contrary it works for me.

This book is not for the faint hearted and it’s not for children under eight years old, in my opinion.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Ronyell Great review Lisa!! This book made me cry also and I just loved it to death!


Lisa Vegan Ronyell wrote: "Great review Lisa!! This book made me cry also and I just loved it to death!"

Really powerful, wasn't it?!!!


Ronyell Lisa wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Great review Lisa!! This book made me cry also and I just loved it to death!"

Really powerful, wasn't it?!!!"


Yeah! I never would have thought that I would actually be crying when I read this book! The separation between Pink and Say was really heart-wrenching.


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