cover image A History of Me

A History of Me

Adrea Theodore, illus. by Erin K. Robinson. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4257-7

In this poetic debut informed by Theodore’s own life as well as that of her daughter, the author traces the alienation that one Black third grader, “the only brown person in class,” experiences while their white teacher instructs the otherwise all-white students on topics including slavery and the civil rights movement. The narrative ties the protagonist’s lessons back to their family history, wherein their relatives display resilience and persistence when faced with racism and oppression: after being subjected to pointing and laughing on the playground, the child recalls, “My mom had told me before/ that her grandmother... only got to go to school for a little while.” Refrains emphasize the child’s isolation and resolve, punctuated by Robinson’s textured digital illustrations, before an affirmative ending. Back matter includes notes from the author and illustrator. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)