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Skin Again

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  657 ratings  ·  153 reviews
The skin I'm in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story. The skin I'm in is just a covering. If you want to know who i am You have got to come inside And open your heart way wide. Celebrating all that makes us unique and different, Skin Again offers new ways to talk about race and identity. Race matters, but only so much-what's most important is who we are on the ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 25th 2004 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  657 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Alexa Maring
When I first read this book, I was not its biggest fan. I thought the book had a wonderful concept, but I was not sold. When this book was use as a reader's theater, my opinion turned. I fell in love with this book. Using reader's theater made this book more personal and intimate. It allowed me to own a part in the words. This would serve exceptionally well for introducing race and civil rights in the classroom. This book teaches us to look past the color of one's skin and to see ourselves past ...more
Amy Olson
Skin again can be used in the first week of school in order to start building classroom community. The illustrations pop from the pages! This book is for both adults and children encase we need a reminder to not judge people by their skin.
NSAndrew Liebergen
Oct 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Is a book that discusses and positively reinforces the things that make us all different and unique. The book focuses on racial issues and personal identity. The book does not negate race or tell the reader to ignore it, but instead state that it is simple one part of a person. What one must really strive to do is to look deep into a person’s heart to truly see who they are.

This book starts out perfectly. The illustrations are inviting to look at and the print type is focal
Heather Bowden
The main idea of this book is to look past skin to get to the heart of who we are. We can't determine who we are until we look beneath the surface, and once we do this we will see that we are the same. There are no main characters, you just see some of the same faces throughout the book. This book is fiction.
As a literacy teacher, I would read this perhaps in a small group setting and have the children draw inside a tracing of a body all the things they like to do, and we can talk about what
Hannah Morrison
Bell Hooks is one of my overall favorite authors and I was so excited when we shared this book in class. So often we see children's books as being mindless fun but books like Skin Again teach such valuable lessons in a beautiful way. These types of books are not shared enough in classes and I feel that this really short changes our students and underestimates their abilities as critical thinkers. We need to introduce these concepts young so students grow up understanding what those before them ...more
Beckie Coldiron
This is such a beautiful story that tells the important concept of looking deeper than just a person's skin color. This book also has several hidden meaning illustrations, which ultimately take the book to the next level. As a future teacher, I would definitely incorporate this towards the beginning of the year while we're building community. Besides being a book that promotes a positive concept, this book could also help promote readers theater in the classroom. I would recommend this book for ...more
Janet Chen
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
The story was different and written in a poetic style. May be a great book to pull out during your poetry lesson for kids to read. It teaches a great lesson within the book. Students themselves face racial tensions and they need to understand at a young age that there is no need for racism still in this day. The illustrations are vivid and captivating also.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Skin Again" is a great book to read to your students. It is inspirational in that it promotes self confidence and the acceptance of all people. It is good for developing readers since the text is simple and repeats throughout the book.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The book has one, big important message that is repeated several times. The format and illustrations makes it look like a book for young children, however it can be the seed for discussion and writing for older kids.
Katie Dicesare
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Had to buy for my classroom---awesome!
Renae Williams
This is a beautifully written multicultural book that promotes appreciation of the skin you are in. This book has unique illustrations, and the flow of the book is so smooth and poetic.
Michele Knott
An important book to read today and every year. An important book to discuss and have conversations around.
Diana V.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Point of View: First Person

Organization/ Unique Features: "Skin Again" has synthesized a fundamental message of identity for young children. The overall message "Our skin is just a cover..." is portrayed in each page with few words and vibrant pictures. Instead of having a straight through narrative, the text turns somewhat poetic and rhythmic, repeating lines and words. The illustrations are brought to life through the powerful usage of words.

Main Ideas:
Lavoie Lianne (The Towering Pile)
Skin Again is a children's book by bell hooks, the well-known writer who focuses on the interconnectivity of race, gender, and class, and the system of oppression produced by them.

This book has a powerful message: that skin is just a covering, and you have to come inside and open your heart to really know someone. It does not make the mistake of advocating "colourblindness", as another author may have done in writing this story. It acknowledges that the colour of one's skin is part of that
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This young children’s picture book has a mature and positive message about race and identity. The majority of the text is printed in alternating black and white large font, although there are phrases found in brown, yellow, blue and green. Many of the sentences are spread over a few pages, each page revealing a phrase or idea of the whole. This layout for the text reinforces the theme that to really understand a person, you must try to see the many pieces of their identity and not just their ...more
Courtney Lloyd
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdng-350
This book is amazing. Throughout the book it says, "If you want to know who I am you have got to come inside and open your heart way wide. " I love that quote. The book continues and talks about the importance of looking past our skin colors and really getting to know the person. The book describes how to do this by looking at their past, present, and future.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I think that teachers should read this in class and openly discuss what we see on the outside isn't as
Brigid Keely
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, non-fiction, 2013, poetry
"Skin Again," by bell hooks, is a kids book with interesting illustrations accompanying a poem about skin color and what it does and does not tell about a person. It's a great poem, lyrical and engaging, for an adult. My 4 1/2 year old enjoyed the book alright but never asked for a re-read and didn't seem super engaged. It is, I think, above his ability to comprehend. We'll try again when he's a little older. As the white parent of a white child, I could conceivably spend my entire life never ...more
Angela Moorer
This was an inspiring read. We are living in racially heavy days and times right now. Many refuse to see this fact but with the election of our president, race is now an issue as it has never been before in our generation. Luckily, there are books like this that tackle the race subject up front. I love the painting in this book. I would do a picture walk to ensure students appreciate this aspect. The poetic nature of the writing is also appealing. This is a great share at any time. I wouldnt tie ...more
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrenslit
I love the message of this book: your skin/appearance doesn't define you. The book is written in the first person ("The skin I'm in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story.") so that the book builds in a way of how others should treat you/how you should expect to be treated (as opposed to directly stating how we should view and interact with others). My biggest problem is getting the rhythm of reading the book aloud. I've read through it a few times now and can't quite wrap myself around how ...more
This was a beautiful book to read and so great to talk with students about our skin color and how it is only an outside force - it should not be looked at in other ways. It was very powerful and poetic, and can definitely be used for a lesson on rhythms and beats. The teacher could read in rhythm as students clap or snap along to the beats and find this rhythm as we read. bell hooks does a great job addressing an important issue. I also loved the images of the onions and snakes, with their skin ...more
This book has a poetic feel. As a poet, I was immediately hooked. I would love to hear the predictions my students would make just from the title and cover. The author keeps a consistent rhythm throughout the text in reminding her readers that what's inside a person is so much more important than what you see at face value. I would love to do an experiment in my class similar to the "blue eye, brown eye" experiment done in the past. This would help my students to make connections and understand ...more
Amy Layton
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a beautiful version of hooks' 'Skin Again.' Paired with Chris Raschka's fantastic illustrations, this book hits all the points. It questions what skin means--what race means--and how we construct it.

I will forever applaud Raschka for illustrating such important literary pieces such as this one, and I'd definitely have to recommend it to anybody who is looking to restore their faith in humanity.

Review cross-listed here!
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
The good message of the book teaches that a person's appearance doesn't tell you what kind of person he/she is. However, the language was confusing and overdone even for me, so I had to explain the point all over again after reading it.

"All real then. In that place where skin again is one small way to see me but not real enough to be all the me of me or the you of you. For we are all inside made up of real history, real dreams, and the stuff of all we hope for when we can be all real together on
Rebecca Ratnasingham
-"The skin I'm in will always be just a covering....It cannot tell my story"
-"The skin I'm in looks good to me. It will let you know one small way to trace my identity."
-"Before you come inside and let me be real and you become real to me. All real then. In that place where skin again is one small way to see me. But not real enough to be all."
-Theme of getting to know someone, not judging

-Excellent text to use when discussing issues of race!! (racism, immigration, etc.)
-Will pair this text
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidlit, picture-books
"The skin I'm in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story." This is the central concept of this picture book illustrated by Chris Raschka. Using symbols and a rough sketchy style of painting, we make the match between the words and the pictures to deepen our understanding of the concept. For example, colored squares represent the "inside" essence of each figure and when the squares switch owners we infer that the figures have truly understood each other. An onion shape is repeated throughout ...more
Kayla Boerner
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diversity
I think that this book had the opportunity to send a great message. The illustrations are great and the themes of self-acceptance and how what matters is on the inside are good for children to read about. However, the language and the way the words are formatted can get confusing, even for adults. I think this would pose a challenge to children and they may have trouble understanding parts of the book because of it. I think this book would be better as a read aloud so that adults can walk kids ...more
Michelle Nero
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
My friend told me to keep an eye out for this book because she wanted a copy for her library. Digging through the 25 cent books at my library sale, I stumbled upon it a week ago. And now I understand why she wanted this book:

"The skin I'm in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story."

After finishing "Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story" by Nora Raleigh Baskin, this book just opened my heart wider.
Such a cute and inspiring story teaching the reader to be comfertable and confident in their own skin. The illustrations are supurb and simple looks to be a paint medium. My teacher turned this story into a reader's theater script and it worked perfectly, all the classmates were involved and at the end it was wonderful. "Skin Again" is a simple books for young ages but the message is for people of all ages.
Tiffany Abston
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Skin Again looks at the heart and at the personality, not just the skin. To many times we judge someone by the outward appearance, whether that is the skin color or something else. Students will learn to go deeper than the skin color and to really get to know someone before deciding what they think. "This skin is just a covering. If you want to get to know me, you are going to have to look inside."
Zoe's Human
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picture book poetry
Grades: K - 5
Ages: 5 - 10
Themes: anti-racism

I was thrilled to see a picture book written by renowned feminist and social activist bell hooks. It did not disappoint. Vivid illustrations compliment a wonderful poem that is a great way to start conversations about race with little readers. The language may be challenging for children depending on their verbal skills as the structure is more poetic than prose-like.
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Skin Again 2 13 Sep 18, 2013 12:01PM  

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bell hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) is an African-American author, feminist, and social activist. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in ...more
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