cover image That Flag

That Flag

Tameka Fryer Brown, illus. by Nikkolas Smith. HarperCollins, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-309344-7

Fryer Brown introduces a Black child narrator named Keira and her white best friend Bianca. “Almost twins,” they both wear their hair in braids and play four-square at recess. They’re inseparable—until they leave school for home, on the same street, where Bianca’s family flies the Confederate flag. Keira’s parents call it a “hate flag” and a “symbol of violence and oppression,” and bar their child from visiting Bianca’s house, while Bianca’s family calls it “a heritage flag” and a “celebration of courage and pride.” A field trip to the Southern Legacy Museum opens Keira’s eyes to the history of “that flag,” and makes her reconsider the friendship. Following a hate crime that involves the flag, Bianca’s family takes theirs down, presenting Keira with a new choice. Smith’s painterly digital illustrations foreground individuals and historical spreads in a book, per back matter, about “acknowledging the entire truth of our history.” A contextualizing note and creators’ notes conclude. Ages 6–10. (Jan.)