As a friend pointed out to me, K.T. Horning literally wrote the book on reviewing children’s literature. So her review of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch for the Reading While White blog would have meant a lot to me no matter what.
But I especially appreciate Horning’s recognition of the honesty and authenticity that Don Tate and I — and our publisher, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers — strove for with this book:
I can’t recall when I’ve seen a book for children that is so deliberate about calling out racism for what it is. And he does it with such clear, simple language, making this complex period in history accessible to young readers, just as Don Tate’s clear stylized illustrations do. Even though the illustrations use a cartoon style, there are no happy, smiling slaves here. What we see instead is the pain and suffering they endured and later, the look of pride and determination on the face of John Roy Lynch, a free man.
I do hope you’ll read the whole thing, and spread the word about this review and about The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch to those you think would appreciate our efforts or benefit from them. And in case you’re wondering what Reading While White is all about, please check out the site’s mission statement.