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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  410 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier discovers the vibrant world of Harlem, New York, as seen through the eyes of a little boy

"Uptown . . .
Harlem, New York.
Chicken and waffles.

Uptown is a rich mix of flavors, colors, sounds, and cultures that come together to create a vibrant community like no other in the world. Seen through the eyes of on
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Square Fish (first published 2000)
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Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a reader, I enjoyed reading this book. The illustrations were very well done. The illustrator used very colorful collages that easily caught the eye. The author also did a good job portraying the true essence of Harlem. Through all of his descriptions, the reader really could feel what it was like to grow up in Harlem when the narrator did.

As a teacher, I would definitely use this book in my classroom if I taught younger grades. The language is very simple and easy to understand. The illustra
Luisa Knight
2.5 stars

Ages: 5 - 9

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L13 Tracy Beling
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this 2001 Coretta Scott King winner. This is a story told by a young boy from Harlem who describes various aspects of the city that make Harlem his home. He points out landmarks, activities, and makes other observations that he loves about his community. The author uses minimal, but beautiful figurative language to enable the reader to feel what it's like to be in Harlem. The pictures are bold and colorful done in a collage style.

This is an excellent book to read wit
Lisa Suchy
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bryan Collier's "Uptown" is a picture book that has bright illustrations to go along with wonderful imagery. The descriptions of the young boys neighborhood are simple, yet description. The use of imagery in the text next to these colorful and full page illustrations made me feel like I was right there in the neighborhood. Great book picture book for students to see into a neighborhood in New York!
Shayla Ware
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Uptown is a picture book written by Bryan Collier. Bryan Collier won the Coretta Scott King award for illustration and the Ezra Jack Keats award for new talent. The age rang for this book is four to eight it is a easy reader so kindergartners can read it with help and fourth graders will still be into the book. Uptown is about a young African American boy that tells his story about what Harlem is to him. He paints a beautiful picture of his town and makes you want to visit it for yourself. Uptow ...more
Samantha Hale
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awards: Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration & the Ezra Jack Keats Award for New Talent

Grade Level: First Grade through Fifth Grade

Original Summary: The story is told from the point of view of a little boy that lives in Harlem. He tells the readers about what Harlem looks like, sounds like, tastes like, and feels like. He explains that this is his home and his world, and describes the things he feels represent Harlem.

Original Review: I personally enjoyed this book very much. I like that
Tess Upchurch
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Uptown follows a young African American boy on a tour through Harlem (or Uptown as the boy calls it). Throughout his tour he explains what Uptown looks, sounds, tastes, and feels like. The boy concludes by explaining that Uptown is Harlem, and Harlem is home.

I loved the illustrations in this book. They were vibrant and colorful; reflecting the joyful and happy
feelings that the young boy associates the city. The illustrations are done through a mixture of watercolors and collage. I felt that thi
RLL22018_ Delashay
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Uptown is a reflection of a young boys take on his neighborhood. He discusses the buildings, business and people, along with their importance. The authors tone is easily understood, and the writing has a rhythm feel to it. The illustration is a bit soft, with lots of earth tone colors.

I would use this book as a social study tool. I would have the children create a map of their neighborhood. I could create a lesson plan on this book for grades k-5 , but children grades 2nd-3rd could easily read t
Collin A
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
In uptown the pictures are very lifelike. It takes place in Harlem, NY. It talks about all the things that you may see in uptown New York. The barber shop, the baseball stadium, jazz club, and many more. This book was not one of my favorites. It just did not really flow or capture my attention. The pictures caught my atttention more than the storyline.
Evan Fedewa
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Children's Literature

One Unique Feature: This books unique feature are the illustrations in the book. They are extremely detailed, colorful, and really shows you what the young boys life is like in New York's Harlem.

Grade Level Suggested: K-4th grade
Stephanie Wilkinson
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Picture book. A boy takes people on a tour of uptown and describes all the parts of the city that make it feel like home. The illustrations are very creative artwork and could be used to teach an art lesson about using colors, textures, collages, etc.
Olivia Warren
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
An entertaining book about a child who lives in a big city full of captivating graphics. This book doesn't have a limit on imagination with fun personifications bouncing from page to page, it keeps children following along with curiosity and enjoyment!
Cheryl Neer
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-youth
Recently, I had the privilege of listening to the author/illustrator read and recite the beautiful cadence of this text. This powerful picture book transports the reader to the city of Harlem.
Epifania Rita Gallina
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely cute and entertaining story that I read out loud to my baby!
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
A child shows us his hometown of Harlem
A love song to Harlem.
Jo Oehrlein
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, nyc
Each 2 page spread has an "Uptown is ...." phrase (example: Uptown is jazz.) and then a sentence expanding on that.

The pictures are vivid and do a good job of representing the uptown NYC culture.
Black Carrie
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fast simple poetic read
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A vibrant view of Harlem.
Yes, I shelved it on my "Picture Books-Love" shelf. Because it is, at bottom, a love letter to a neighborhood, a place, a home. And it's beautiful.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Harlem is home. The young boy takes the reader on a tour.
Illustrations are brilliant.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Little guy picked this one out at the bookstore, he loves it.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I hope a copy of this is in every public library. Though written a decade and a half ago, Collier's gorgeous collage-driven artwork tells the story of contemporary Harlem through the eyes of a joyful young boy who lives there. "Uptown" does a wonderful job of introducing the reader to one of the most notable black communities in the US, and drives a narrative that is charming, upbeat, and beautiful.

As we continue to struggle with inclusion in this country, books like Collier's do the vital work
Michelle Nguyen
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bryan Collier's "Uptown" is a story of a boy describing his home in vibrant and loving terms. In addition to the expressive illustrations, the colors and positioning of the text further contributes to the story's purpose. With every turn of the page, there is a new reason why "Uptown" is home to a young boy growing up in Harlem. From the food, specifically chicken and waffles, to the specific locations, such as the barbershop and the Apollo theater, every single detail of Harlem is important to ...more
Nashwa M.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Uptown is the first of Bryan Collier’s vibrant books to receive the 2001 Coretta Scott King Award. I found this book displayed at my local library and grabbed it along with a few others. The book immediately attracted me because of its urban city feel and setting. It is set in Uptown New York City, Harlem, and it is narrated by a young boy about the age of 12. His name is never mentioned in this book.

I really enjoyed reading and viewing the collage-style illustrations in Uptown because the main,
Kayla Davis
This book pays homage to the city of Harlem and all of its many wonders. Each page starts with the words “Uptown is” but rather than use adjectives to describe Harlem, author, Bryan Collier, uses nouns, which helps personify Harlem as something that exists and is alive. The illustrations in the book are creative and abstract, and come together in a sort of collage. Some parts are painted, other parts are appear to be real photographs, some appear to be cut outs from magazines or newspapers, and ...more
Marta Michniewicz
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really, really, really liked this book. First of all, it impressed me with the very personal, subjective description of Uptown. While reading, I felt as if the Boy took me to his secret, beloved place on Earth to show me what makes it so special. I liked the fact that the Boy presented a variety of things characteristic of Harlem - Jazz, basketball, vibrant market, girls wearing yellow dresses and even the chocolate-like buildings. All these details brought a very vivid image of Harlem to my m ...more
Anna Laskownicka
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
'Uptown' amazingly depicts the climate of living in Harlem, the way the streets sound, what they look like, and what is everyday life of people composed of.

I really appreciate the hard work Bryan Collier put into the creation of this book. The collage technique is not as easy as many people think, therefore I can imagine that making all the illustrations by the use of different materials must be time-consuming, especially when one doesn't want it to look randomly.

Nevertheless, what I particula
Jasmine Lambert
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cskaward, tch-lrn-307
The book Uptown gives readers a tour of Uptown, Harlem in a very concise easy to follow child friendly style. Told by a young boy who is living there, he goes through the main points of his day giving readers great visuals from him watching the Metro North train run over the Harlem river from his apartment window, to him eating chicken and waffles for breakfast, to then the shopping being done on 125th street where the vibe is jumping. The young boy then goes on to describing the Jazz music, and ...more
I played Duke Ellington jazz music as students entered the room. Before reading the story I showed photos taken of Harlem and its inhabitants by James Van der Zee and explained a little about the Harlem Renaissance. After reading the story, I read the dedication page and we discussed this tribute to the author's hometown. I pointed out the types of information included in the book--information about the outside and inside of his home, what residents liked to do in the summer, activities his fami ...more
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Bryan Collier grew up in Pocomoke City, Maryland where he began painting at the age of 15. He has won numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, and the Caldecott Honor. He lives in Harlem, New York.
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