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Summary: This book opens the discussion for what it means to be a part of our community. It focuses on ideals for children to help them understand their role in the community during their growing up years. It is written from the context of the "Covenant with Black America," attempting to relate those ideals in a way that is accessible to children. The end of the book has a section overviewing the tenets from "The Covenant with Black America". It encourages children to take an active role in their community by giving them an explanation of the Covenant and concrete suggestions for ways to live by these tenets (such as eating dinner together or not bullying. This is a picture book with positive affirmations and conversation starters.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 4 to 8
Interest Level: 3 to 7
Age of Child: Read with a 4-year-old boy.
Young Reader Reaction: My son liked the book a lot. Many of the concepts were a bit abstract for his age, and we did not go through the text-rich final section explaining the Covenant with Black America concepts. However, the "picture book" section was wonderful.
Adult Reader Reaction: *Disclaimer, we are not of African-American descent.* Although I would consider this book as being targeted to the broad African-American community, this remains a wonderful book for all ethnicities, as most of the ideals are universal, and the ones that are not universal are still important for children to learn about from a historical perspective.
I LOVED that the message was loving and VERY positive. It charged the children with finding ways to make the world a wonderful place. It set the goals for children ones of success, family, God, education, etc. I also loved the enrichment section at the end. It was well-researched, clearly written, and gave wonderful examples of ways to live a healthy, positive life.
Pros: Positive, family values are presented in a way that appeals to all children. Although it focused on images from the African-American community, these ideals are (mostly) ideals for ANY child in the United States to strive towards in order to be a positive member of their community.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I would recommend this book highly to any family, to purchase for their home or to borrow from the library. A great, positive book.
Educational Themes: There are lots of themes and discussion starters in this book: living healthy (eating right and exercising), understanding money, environmental justice, democracy, black heritage, neighborhood improvement, community activism, family values, value of education, value of learning how to use the computer.
Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.