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Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy

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An engaging children's book whose aim is opening a dialogue about systemic racism, inspired by Emmanuel Acho’s viral video series "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man." Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is an accessible book for children to learn about systemic racism and racist behavior. For the awkward questions white and non-black parents don’t know h An engaging children's book whose aim is opening a dialogue about systemic racism, inspired by Emmanuel Acho’s viral video series "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man." Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is an accessible book for children to learn about systemic racism and racist behavior. For the awkward questions white and non-black parents don’t know how to answer, this book is an essential guide to help support communication on how to dismantle racism in our youngest generation. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy creates a safe, judgment-free space for curious children to ask questions they’ve long been afraid to verbalize. How can I have white privilege if I’m not wealthy? Why do Black people protest against the police? If Black people can say the N-word, why can’t I? And many, many more. Young people have the power to effect sweeping change, and the key to mending the racial divide in America lies in giving them the tools to ask honest questions and take in the difficult answers. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is just one way young readers can begin to short circuit racism within their own lives and communities.


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An engaging children's book whose aim is opening a dialogue about systemic racism, inspired by Emmanuel Acho’s viral video series "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man." Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is an accessible book for children to learn about systemic racism and racist behavior. For the awkward questions white and non-black parents don’t know h An engaging children's book whose aim is opening a dialogue about systemic racism, inspired by Emmanuel Acho’s viral video series "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man." Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is an accessible book for children to learn about systemic racism and racist behavior. For the awkward questions white and non-black parents don’t know how to answer, this book is an essential guide to help support communication on how to dismantle racism in our youngest generation. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy creates a safe, judgment-free space for curious children to ask questions they’ve long been afraid to verbalize. How can I have white privilege if I’m not wealthy? Why do Black people protest against the police? If Black people can say the N-word, why can’t I? And many, many more. Young people have the power to effect sweeping change, and the key to mending the racial divide in America lies in giving them the tools to ask honest questions and take in the difficult answers. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is just one way young readers can begin to short circuit racism within their own lives and communities.

30 review for Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan David Pope

    Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy, the middle grade adaption of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, inspired by the viral Youtube series "Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man" made my head hurt. I picked up this book after passing on the hype received by the original version, but honestly being intrigued by the fact that it made its way into a children's book. I have many feelings about the burst of new anti-racist children's literature on the market, and whether folk Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy, the middle grade adaption of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, inspired by the viral Youtube series "Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man" made my head hurt. I picked up this book after passing on the hype received by the original version, but honestly being intrigued by the fact that it made its way into a children's book. I have many feelings about the burst of new anti-racist children's literature on the market, and whether folks are actually vetting the content or just buying it to say they did. However, I gave this a chance. 1. What struck me was Acho's introduction. He speaks about not being able to identify much with the Black community growing up, Acho is Nigerian-American and attended a predominately Black church, but felt misunderstood and outcast within Black spaces— up until he played football in college with a majority Black team. So this already had me on the fence. Why does Acho feel that he can have these conversations about issues concerning the Black community (and serve as some sort of authority to inform white folks) when he himself, up until college, was unconnected to the community? He himself seems to still be finding his place. 2. It's the liberalism for me. Throughout the book Acho offers these reflective moments called "Let's Get Uncomfortable", followed by a call to action in a way. And while he calls for “diversity and inclusion” and “peaceful protest”, he offers little to no calls for anything that will lead to real substantial systemic change. He mentions the idea of defunding the police, but doesn't go as far as supporting what he calls the "radical" idea of abolition (and then proceeds to offer instructions on how Black children should act when they encounter police). 3. About 150 pages in, Acho brings up Ibram X. Kendi's claim that Black people can be racist. And while I was thankful that he seemed to understand the flaws in Kendi's claim— power is required, and Black folks simply do not hold the power to be this racial oppressor (and when Black folks in higher positions inforce racist policies that harm Black folks this is internalized anti-Blackness)— Acho backpedals towards the end of the book saying "A black person can be racist individually... but Black people as a whole don't have enough power in America to effect systemic racism." This statement is a ball of contradictions, and has to be confusing to young audiences and those who are attempting to learn. 4. Finally, what is the goal of creating these guidebooks for white audiences? What is the evidence that any of this is actually doing real tangible work to challenge the systems that oppress Black and brown folks? This books is like a pat on the wrist for a racist. Acho speaks to his "young white brothers and sisters", comforts them about how racism is "not their fault individually", tells them to have conversations, and advocate for more Black teachers at their schools etc., and while he uses words like systemic racism and white supremacy (which may feel "radical") his challenges don't feel direct or strong. In addition to this Acho sites YouTube videos, a few online articles, and YA texts for further learning, and I'm wondering what he has read beyond this? He really, as I stated earlier, feels like he's at the beginning stages of interrogating his politics himself. It feels as if he read Kendi's "Stamped: From the Beginning" as an introduction to anti-racism and felt compelled to write a book. And while he has the freedom to right what he wants, I challenge whether he is equipped to have full-flushed out conversations on race. And once again, what is his goal? I believe that reading this has confirmed my irritation with us continuing to say "let's have a conversation about that", "let's continue this conversation", "this is a necessary conversation"— but where do the conversations end and the action really begins? When do we move beyond these same liberal talking points and begin to challenge entire systems. Children are ready for these talks. In Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam they challenge the carceral system and include characters who discuss ideas like prison abolition— and that is what we need to see more of. This is not to say that Acho is wrong about everything, but this text does a disservice to those who read this and are searching for a guide on next steps to fighting racism. Fiction Suggestions: - Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi - Anger Is A Gift by Non-Fiction Suggestions: - Our Prisons Obsolete by - We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina L. Love - Race Matters by Cornel West - From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga Taylor

  2. 4 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    “And white privilege is about the word white, not rich. It’s having advantage built into your life. It’s not saying your life hasn’t been hard; it’s saying your skin color hasn’t contributed to the difficulty in your life.” 👦🏾 This book takes his viral video series entitled Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man and makes it accessible for young readers in a book similar to what Jason Reynolds did with Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi. It’s a way for kids to learn about systemic racism and racist b “And white privilege is about the word white, not rich. It’s having advantage built into your life. It’s not saying your life hasn’t been hard; it’s saying your skin color hasn’t contributed to the difficulty in your life.” 👦🏾 This book takes his viral video series entitled Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man and makes it accessible for young readers in a book similar to what Jason Reynolds did with Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi. It’s a way for kids to learn about systemic racism and racist behavior to help dismantle it for the next generation. 👦🏾 I loved how timely this middle-grade novel is mentioning George Floyd during the pandemic, Colin Kaepernick and the NFL, and the #blacklivesmatter movement so that it’s clear why these causes are so important. With the murder of Daunte Wright two days ago, this book is more necessary than ever. We have to open the lines of communication so there’s understanding in our society enough to make changes to fight racism for our future generations. Thank you Netgalley for the ARC. Every classroom and #library needs to purchase this title on May 4.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amy | Foxy Blogs

    Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy is the young adult version of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Mr. Acho is reaching out to the younger generation to help them understand how we got to where we are today and how we can move forward in a way that respects other cultures.Audiobook source: Libby Narrator: Landon Woodson Length: 4H 56M

  4. 5 out of 5

    Grace W

    (c/p from my review on TheStoryGraph) A super helpful, super relatable story that doesn't talk down to kids. I like it so much because it approaches the subject matter in a frank and honest way that delves deep into the whys and hows. Super glad this book exists. TW for this book include: Racial slurs, Racism, Police brutality, Gun violence, Slavery, and Death (including death of a parent and child) (c/p from my review on TheStoryGraph) A super helpful, super relatable story that doesn't talk down to kids. I like it so much because it approaches the subject matter in a frank and honest way that delves deep into the whys and hows. Super glad this book exists. TW for this book include: Racial slurs, Racism, Police brutality, Gun violence, Slavery, and Death (including death of a parent and child)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Lee

    Another great book to add to your bookshelf if you want to raise an antiracist child.

  6. 5 out of 5

    N

    I read this book with my child to discuss and understand what teachers and classmates are being told to think of her/us because of her/our races. Seeing so many people recommend it for classroom use shows we have truly gone off the rails. I think racial reconciliation is important and will require open and honest relationships among diverse people. This is not an uncomfortable conversation. (It seems that title came later and I can see why it really is more like things he thinks white people sho I read this book with my child to discuss and understand what teachers and classmates are being told to think of her/us because of her/our races. Seeing so many people recommend it for classroom use shows we have truly gone off the rails. I think racial reconciliation is important and will require open and honest relationships among diverse people. This is not an uncomfortable conversation. (It seems that title came later and I can see why it really is more like things he thinks white people should know). It is a one-way lecture that only acknowledges disagreements on controversial issues in order to say they are without merit. It teaches black children they are oppressed and white children they are oppressors. Nothing can change it according to the author - except registering Democratic voters, affirmative action to achieve racial equity, and treating everyone as emblematic of their racial category. Do not let this book be taught in your child’s classroom. Do read the books assigned to your children. This book recommends: Do not listen to rap music if you are white (it is cultural appropriation); at least don’t sing it because it is ok for the black rapper to use forbidden racist language but fans of other races are racist for singing the same lyrics. (I wonder what the people selling albums think of this idea.) Chopsticks as hair accessories, calling Elvis “the King of Rock ‘n Roll,” celebrating Cinco de Mayo, and wearing braids are also forbidden cultural appropriation. Also, don’t call them plantation shutters because that means you approved of plantations and slavery and want to celebrate a time when slavery was legal. Definitely don’t visit a plantation to see for yourself the slave cabins and learn about how brutal they were. Plantations should be eliminated. Black people can’t be racist because they lack power. No word on if the opposite is true when the author visits Nigeria, which has never had a leader that is not a black male since they escaped being a British colony. Talk to your parents about funding efforts to Defund the Police, which doesn’t mean what it says but does mean re-budgeting money to other programs away from the police. Go protest for BLM with friends if your adults won’t go, but make a plan in case it gets “chaotic.” Donate money to bail protesters out of jail. Register Democrat voters. White people hate Kaepernick for protesting racial inequality because they are racist. There is nothing more to the controversy. A white person posting Instagram pictures at a BLM protest is just as wrong as someone robbing at a BLM protest because both are making it about themselves. Don’t be a “white savior” by seeking approval/gratitude for allyship actions. It’s a convenient way for white people to feel better about themselves without actually wanting anything to change even though they took some action to try to change things. They didn’t have a pure intention. Don’t call people thugs because it unfairly casts them as irredeemable instead of people who made understandably bad choices. (I actually agree with that and many other points, but contrast it with: Do call all white people racists because even if you are not racist and you traced your family history back to when they came to America and found no slave owners you can’t know enough about them to know they were all outspoken abolitionists so some of them were probably white supremacists and you continue to benefit from that and systemic racism anyway.). When Bryan Stevenson says there are different justice system consequences for the rich and poor (I agree) he means black and white (says the NFL player - because all black people are poor and most can’t drive or obtain a driver’s license or take time off from work to vote unless they live in white neighborhoods). Read books about Malcolm X, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers, and the Black Power movement. They were an important part of getting to the society we have now, and the “by any means necessary” strategy was important. Black people - you do you. White people - don’t tell black people what to do. (In particular about wearing sagging pants that he explains comes from prison culture and that he personally wouldn’t do.) I recommend: Read this book to understand what people are encouraging we teach children. Read critically. Is this bringing more understanding or encouraging people to retreat to racial isolationism? Then actually have courageous conversations where you hear from people who disagree with you. If you agree with this author, try reading Thomas Sowell, Samuel Sey, or Jason Riley. If you agree with those authors, read Critical Race Theorists (Kendi, DiAngelo, Jason Reynolds) and try to understand their power-oppressor worldview. Then go out and love others with kindness and mercy and a genuine concern for making the world better for black people and all of the human race (as the author acknowledges near the end of the book.) Here are some good take-always: Even if your friend says nothing in school, your teasing might be wrong and hurting them in deep ways they will hold onto as adults. Even if you are teasing someone else. Just don’t tease. We should all know more about history. We should read widely and engage events that we haven’t studied before. It would benefit us personally and as a society. Even an amazing private school education failed to spark an interest in learning about history in the author until he was an adult. Take control of your own learning. There are plenty of people that want to tell you what sacrifices and changes YOU should make. Some of them do it in a kinder and more humorous package. Beware of “educators” who want to teach kids what to think instead of how to think for themselves. People are hurting and want to be understood. Most people don’t actually want to try to understand people that are not like them. Be different.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This was written really well in my opinion. A lot of "Uncomfortable conversations" for sure, but conversations that need to be happening. I know this version of the book is written for a younger audience and I think Emmanuel does a great job covering hard and possibly confusing topics like voter suppression, and systemic racism in general. I learned a lot and I think this book is great for all ages. I still have plans to read his original "Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man" and now I This was written really well in my opinion. A lot of "Uncomfortable conversations" for sure, but conversations that need to be happening. I know this version of the book is written for a younger audience and I think Emmanuel does a great job covering hard and possibly confusing topics like voter suppression, and systemic racism in general. I learned a lot and I think this book is great for all ages. I still have plans to read his original "Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man" and now I want to watch his youtube videos as well!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Solid NF purchase for middle school libraries by @emmanuelacho. Pairs well with STAMPED by @jasonreynolds83 and This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany M Jewell. . . . Book 13 for #30booksummer . . . “Getting uncomfortable is the whole idea. Everything great is birthed through discomfort.” . . . YA version of the adult book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Addresses white privileged, cultural appropriation, if reverse racism exists, etc. The conversational tone makes this book very readable. I di Solid NF purchase for middle school libraries by @emmanuelacho. Pairs well with STAMPED by @jasonreynolds83 and This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany M Jewell. . . . Book 13 for #30booksummer . . . “Getting uncomfortable is the whole idea. Everything great is birthed through discomfort.” . . . YA version of the adult book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Addresses white privileged, cultural appropriation, if reverse racism exists, etc. The conversational tone makes this book very readable. I didn’t learn anything new, but this is still a great addition for school libraries looking to be anti-racist. . . .

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carmel

    I loved the first version of this book but not much has changed in this update targeted toward younger readers. In some ways, this version will be easier to give to students, but it’s a rare student who actively searches for a nonfiction book exploring racism/the Black experience. Recommended to read one version or the other.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharmali Chinniah-commodore

    Every child in America needs to read this book. Parents need to read this book. Our children need to be anti racists. Have zero tolerance for racism they see. Educate them so they can speak honestly and intelligently against racism they see. Don’t walk away. Don’t be quiet. Speak out. Fight for your friends and loved ones of color. They need your help.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus In this young readers' edition of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Mr. Acho uses his perspective as a second generation Nigerian American who grew up in predominately white schools to explore issues of race, racism, implicit bias and other topics in an instructional way. I especially liked how introduced a topic and had consistent chapter elements like "Let's Get Uncomfortable", "Let's Rewind" (talking about the history of a topic), and "Talk It, Walk E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus In this young readers' edition of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Mr. Acho uses his perspective as a second generation Nigerian American who grew up in predominately white schools to explore issues of race, racism, implicit bias and other topics in an instructional way. I especially liked how introduced a topic and had consistent chapter elements like "Let's Get Uncomfortable", "Let's Rewind" (talking about the history of a topic), and "Talk It, Walk It". I think that's a helpful format for younger readers trying to unpack these weighty concepts. One particularly important topic was the debate about whether the term African American or Black (which is not capitalized in this book, but which current convention usually capitalizes) should be used. While Black seems to be the most commonly accepted term, Mr. Acho opines that the final determination of use should be up to the individual. The We Need Diverse Books Movement is mentioned (this started in 2014, but has been taken more seriously after the summer of 2020. Finally.), and Mr. Acho has a good blend of current news stories, personal anecdotes, and history to illustrate his points. There is an excellent bibliography at the back. In general, this book is a good overview of topics from these other books presented in a way that is a bit more linear than Kendi and Reynold's Stamped. Certainly, both books are essential in middle school library collections. I haven't read the adult version, so I don't know if that would be more appropriate for high schools. This could certainly be used in elementary classrooms, but I don't deal with younger students enough to know how younger readers would process this on their own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andee

    Thank you, oh so much, NetGalley for this ARC and now reference book for me. I don't follow football, so when Emmanuel Acho started Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man on YouTube I came for the content rather than the name. See, Donald Trump was our president and all of a sudden, friends and family members came out as bat sh%$ crazy. What could be worse than the horror of an idiot white supremacist at the helm of our nation? A world pandemic in which said idiot claimed was no big deal. Thank you, oh so much, NetGalley for this ARC and now reference book for me. I don't follow football, so when Emmanuel Acho started Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man on YouTube I came for the content rather than the name. See, Donald Trump was our president and all of a sudden, friends and family members came out as bat sh%$ crazy. What could be worse than the horror of an idiot white supremacist at the helm of our nation? A world pandemic in which said idiot claimed was no big deal. I NEEDED Acho's episodes. And now - I have Acho's book. While I will be getting this book for the middle school library post haste, I will also be buying the "grown up" version for myself. As members of the Trump cult are trying to get elected to our school board, the issue for them is to get rid of any critical thinking when it comes to race and American history. Through this book, Acho is my cheerleader, therapist, and teacher. "It's not always obvious, but don't ever let anyone convince you that we are in a racism-free, or, as some folks like to say, a "post-racial America." "An evil, oppressive past is right here with us. And it's not hiding in plain sight. It's raising its arms and saying, LOOK!" Recommended for everyone. Seriously. Everyone.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If you've watched his YouTube videos, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, you're familiar with Acho and the topics he chooses to talk about (if you haven't watched those videos, you'll want to). Maybe you just know Acho because of his NFL career. This book is the young adult version of his best selling book, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man". In it, you'll learn about things like cultural appropriation, stereotyping, and the history of blackface. From Emmitt Till to Black If you've watched his YouTube videos, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, you're familiar with Acho and the topics he chooses to talk about (if you haven't watched those videos, you'll want to). Maybe you just know Acho because of his NFL career. This book is the young adult version of his best selling book, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man". In it, you'll learn about things like cultural appropriation, stereotyping, and the history of blackface. From Emmitt Till to Black Wall Street, Acho tells us what we need to hear. Some parts may be uncomfortable like he says, but he tells us of things that we all need to hear, for a greater understanding. A must-read for young people of all backgrounds.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lizanne Johnson

    This title is a must have for our middle school and high school libraries’ anti racist collections. Acho’s book is highly accessible and well organized. His writing is straightforward and honest. He includes enough history with references for further reading. He has obviously done his homework. This would make an excellent book club book with plenty to discuss and action steps to take to make change happen. I highly recommend this book. With Acho’s NFL background this title may appeal to some un This title is a must have for our middle school and high school libraries’ anti racist collections. Acho’s book is highly accessible and well organized. His writing is straightforward and honest. He includes enough history with references for further reading. He has obviously done his homework. This would make an excellent book club book with plenty to discuss and action steps to take to make change happen. I highly recommend this book. With Acho’s NFL background this title may appeal to some unlikely readers which is definitely a plus. Be sure to check out the back matter. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I already read Emmanuel Acho’s Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man a few months ago with friends and really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I listened to this audio book with my 13 year old. It is the same concepts but geared toward teens and tweens. Acho does a great job of breaking down a lot of issues regarding race that sometimes white people are uncomfortable to ask. It is a great read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hunter Pardue

    This honest review is in exchange for an ARC from NetGalley. Acho gets right to the point with young adults. I'd encourage white parents of teenagers to read it with their kids and begin taking action. The "Talk It, Walk It" sections in each chapter gives readers actionable steps. The book is written honestly and appropriately for young adults. This honest review is in exchange for an ARC from NetGalley. Acho gets right to the point with young adults. I'd encourage white parents of teenagers to read it with their kids and begin taking action. The "Talk It, Walk It" sections in each chapter gives readers actionable steps. The book is written honestly and appropriately for young adults.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Highly recommend! I am not the target audience for this book… Young white children who are ready or curious about becoming allies should read this book. Black children that want to know some more about out history, should read this book. It was very well done and definitely made me put it on my wish list to bring to school!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Adapted for a younger audience, I found the structure of this book to be very successful. He discussed terms, history, culture -- basically everything you need to know when talking about race. Highly recommend! I will have to check out the video series, too.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Nero

    I can hear Emmanuel’s calm voice throughout this introductory book helping lead children (and adults) down a path of healing, understanding, and action. It’s not any easy task, but it’s a road Americans need to go down.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Perfect intro to antiracism for middle grade and young adult readers. I don't I think there was anything groundbreaking necessarily in this book, but Acho did an excellent job at compiling a wide range of complex concepts into digestible bites fpr young readers. Perfect intro to antiracism for middle grade and young adult readers. I don't I think there was anything groundbreaking necessarily in this book, but Acho did an excellent job at compiling a wide range of complex concepts into digestible bites fpr young readers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was just phenomenal. Thanks Libro.fm for the May ALC to support Anderson’s Bookshop 📚

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toni Rose Deanon

    I love everything about this book. Everything.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    So timely and perfect. Emmanuel Acho is eloquent in his delivery as he discusses the various forms of racism, and the history of racism, in an easy-to-understand format. He challenges his young readers to be part of the solution and gives them concrete ways to combat racism in their communities. Let's get uncomfortable to find the path to positive change. So timely and perfect. Emmanuel Acho is eloquent in his delivery as he discusses the various forms of racism, and the history of racism, in an easy-to-understand format. He challenges his young readers to be part of the solution and gives them concrete ways to combat racism in their communities. Let's get uncomfortable to find the path to positive change.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisette

    Can't wait to pass this book along to my son. Can't wait to pass this book along to my son.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Higgins

    Easy to read yet packed with facts, tips and reality. An overall good read for anybody who struggles with those questions about race.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara Belvin

    I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. A very eye opening book to share with teens. It talks about racism and uses personal experiences.of the author and historical references. There were many thoughts.about what happened last year during Pandemic.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Broas

    I wish I could make this required reading in my school. A relevant, challenging and interesting read. I love how Acho weaves stories and questions with facts and details. The action steps for kids are doable and timely. Loved this book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    The topics covered warrant 5 stars. I gave this book just three stars because I don't think it's that well written. It's more of a rambling lecture than an engaging narrative. Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi is much more engaging. The topics covered warrant 5 stars. I gave this book just three stars because I don't think it's that well written. It's more of a rambling lecture than an engaging narrative. Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi is much more engaging.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    This is a book that should be in every Elementary (for older kids), Middle, and High school library. Moreover, I think the book should be assigned reading, probably in middle school, and would be good for class discussions, particularly in areas of the country where white people have been sheltered from interaction with black folks. The author addresses white folks directly, or at least white children, but as an Asian American, I felt like he could have been addressing me, or at least people in This is a book that should be in every Elementary (for older kids), Middle, and High school library. Moreover, I think the book should be assigned reading, probably in middle school, and would be good for class discussions, particularly in areas of the country where white people have been sheltered from interaction with black folks. The author addresses white folks directly, or at least white children, but as an Asian American, I felt like he could have been addressing me, or at least people in my parent's generation. Because growing up, there were many Asians in my parents' generation, often immigrants, who tended to fear black folks and think less of them. And that was conveyed to us through phrases or actions. But I, as an Asian American, have also experienced racism towards me because of the color of my skin, so I could feel some of what the author was talking about. What I really appreciated about this book is that Emmanuel Acho spoke directly to kids and explained the issues, gave solid examples, and then challenged us to take certain actions to try to combat racism. He really breaks it down into three major categories of racism--individual, systemic, and internalized racism. But with each part, he tells his audience that it's time to get uncomfortable, and then he gives specific suggestions for what they can do to be an ally. He brings in a lot of history and he also explains where the anger comes from, although he is quick to point out that his anger may not be his friend's anger or the other guy down the street. Ultimately, though, he does not let up and urges us to really examine what we have learned and that perhaps it's time to open our mind (past time!). Although this is geared towards children, I honestly think this book could be good for older folks who have been reluctant to dive into the whole idea of racism. Overall, I think this is a book that should be widely read, and I am hoping that some hearts and minds might be changed by it. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jaymie

    [I received a free review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.] 5 stars+++ = Best of the best Exceptional! I highly recommend this one for classroom and school libraries as well as public libraries and home libraries. This is for readers 10 and up. Some readers may struggle to push through the material - discussion groups at school or family discussion can help, because the material is worth pushing through. The material is written for white r [I received a free review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.] 5 stars+++ = Best of the best Exceptional! I highly recommend this one for classroom and school libraries as well as public libraries and home libraries. This is for readers 10 and up. Some readers may struggle to push through the material - discussion groups at school or family discussion can help, because the material is worth pushing through. The material is written for white readers to better understand racial issues, but the history and author's stories and context could be fantastic for readers of color as well. Chapters respond to a specific question and common topics in anti-racist discussions - white privilege, microaggressions, bias, color blindness, systemic racism, the Confederate flag, etc. Each chapter follows a set pattern which I think will help struggling readers know what to expect from each section. The tone is conversational while never talking down to readers. It's an intense conversation, so readers will likely want to take it a chapter at a time. There are no footnotes or citations given in the chapters, but sources are listed in the backmatter. The author also makes recommendations for further reading, documentaries to watch, etc. Just because this is targeted at kids and teens doesn't mean adults can't benefit from reading this too. If you find yourself confused by the recent conversations about anti-racism, or if you aren't sure how to respond to common arguments, this will be a fantastic starting point for your anti-racist journey.

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