The Shimmershine Queens

Camille Yarbrough, Author Putnam Publishing Group $14.95 (142p) ISBN 978-0-399-21465-3
This is a remarkable story about self-esteem and achievement, bringing to light the negative images of sexism and racism that face black girls who strive for success in school. Angie, 10, gets the lead in the school play and faces all manner of repercussions: it will take her away from home, where she is needed; she is worried about speaking on stage; there are kids at school who constantly put her down and the play opens her up to more of that. The title, derived from Cousin Seatta's philosophy of life, is termed, ``the get up gift . . . when you do sumpum good and you feel warm and shiny all over your body.'' It's a process that encompasses dreaming, creating and making changes in one's life through positive action. Angie's character may appear too ``goody-goody'' at times but the overall effect is essentially strong and meaningful. With African traditions and proverbs interspersed throughout the text, this book, by the author of Cornrows , reflects the anxieties, pressures and problems as well as the joys, compassion and love in families. It's a value-building, timely book, realistic in its presentation of the needs and aspirations of minority youth. Ages 10-13. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Prebound-Glued - 142 pages - 978-0-8335-4479-7
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-698-11369-5
Prebound-Sewn - 142 pages - 978-0-606-09854-0
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