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Pink and Say

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  10,529 ratings  ·  749 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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Andrea Pink and Say is guided reading level S.

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4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,529 ratings  ·  749 reviews

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Jan 23, 2013 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 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
Mar 27, 2012 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
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, favorites
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
This is a true story, handed down in the author’s family. It’s about her great-great grandfather’s experience fighting for the Union Army in the Civil War (at the age of 15), fleeing a particularly awful battle, getting shot and left to die, being rescued by an injured young man from a colored regiment, nursed to health by his new friend’s mother, and eventually imprisoned in the worst POW camp in the country. It’s a tale about a slave boy who, though he is much too young to be a soldier, runs w ...more
Jan 08, 2009 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
NS - Cami Houston
Nov 05, 2009 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
Jessica Hanley
Sep 26, 2009 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
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
Kathy Davie
May 02, 2013 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 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 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
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pink and Say is a heartwarming yet heart-wrenching story of two young boys who both are serving in the Union Army. Pink, the african-american character, stumbles across an injured Say. Pink takes Say back to his home (his master's house) where he and his mother help to nurse Say back to health. Say and Pink begin to build a relationship and they become friends and even consider each other to be family. After the murder of Moe Moe Bay, Pink's mother, by marauders (plunderers) the boys head back t ...more
Julie Suzanne
An ELA teacher of 10th grade has her students read this book as part of the units that build up to To Kill a Mockingbird. I was tutoring a home-bound student and sent the book home to her to read before we were to meet up, and she was disheartened and tear-stained when I arrived, apparently having just read it. I quietly read the book to myself while she was working on the quiz/worksheets or whatever, and I had to leave the room and sob in the bathroom so that I wouldn't disturb her. We both cri ...more
Meredith _Martin
Feb 17, 2015 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 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
Dawn Keys
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This Patricia Polacco historical fiction picture book deals with the period of the Civil War in the United States. It is written for 4th grade and up. The subject matter in this story deals with slavery, war, friendship, love, and death.

One thing that makes this story special is that it is a story that was handed down through oral storytelling from generation to generation. The story is based on real people. Patricia uses what she knows and her imagination to tell us this story. Patricia writes
Apr 06, 2017 added it
Shelves: elm-572
Pink and Say is a classic picture book based on a true story that was passed down through a family for generations. The pictures in the story and the storyline are written for a slightly older audience, even though it is a picture book. In the story, two boys (one black and one white) are 15 year old, Union soldiers. The white boy, Say, is wounded and is rescued by Pink, a black soldier. Pink then carries Say back to his black family where Pink's mother nurses Say back to health. Before the boys ...more
Michelle Prata
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction

This book is about two soldiers, one white and one black, and the friendship they form while fighting in the Civil War. It describes the challenges they face, and the different paths their lives take due to the color of their skin. This would be appropriate for 3rd-5th grade students.

This would be a great book to read during a civil rights unit. It shows the unique perspectives of both a black and white soldier during the war. The message in the story could be discussed
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 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
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-572
I really loved this book that I read for historical fiction. This book is a pretty quick read but within those pages is a beautiful, moving story. It was very hard not to cry when I was reading this. This book is amazing and I have no doubt that I will recommend and use it as a read aloud some day. I think that even though it is a picture book, I would still read it aloud in fifth grade. For a teaching idea, in fifth grade, students learn about the civil war in the fourth quarter. I think that t ...more
Jan 25, 2010 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 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 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 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 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
Taylor Patterson
(1 Historical Fiction)
Pink and Say is a very serious book, I wouldn't read it to young children. This book invoked a lot of emotion. It would be a good book to use when talking about the young soldiers of the Civil War. The somber illustration just adds to the emotional aspects of the story.
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Rams Readers Summ...: Pink and Say 4 10 Jun 08, 2018 08:31PM  
Rams Readers Summ...: Pink and Say 4 8 Jun 06, 2018 09:02PM  
Rams Readers Summ...: Pink and Say 3 6 Jun 06, 2018 10:36AM  
Rams Readers Summ...: Pink and Say 4 11 Jun 05, 2018 05:38PM  
Rams Readers Summ...: Response 3 3 6 Jun 05, 2018 10:01AM  
Rams Readers Summ...: Pink and Say by Patricia Palacco 1 3 Jun 04, 2018 03:30PM  
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Patricia Polacco is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator with over 115 beloved and award-winning books to her credit, including The Keeping Quilt, Pink and Say, The Blessing Cup, Chicken Sunday, and Thank You, Mr. Falker. She resides in Michigan.
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