Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Nation's Hope by Matt de la Peña

In a world full of political unrest and uncertainty due to Hitler's cruelty, Joe Louis fights one of Germany's "perfect race" to show that people are worth more than their skin color and ethnicity. As the bell rings and East meets West, the crowd holds its breath to see who will be named the victor.

Matt de la Pena takes the historical events of boxer Joe Louis and creates an impressive children's story with beautiful illustrations (Kadir Nelson) and poetic writing. My daughters (six and seven) enjoy listening to the rythmic words as Louis's story unfolds. In addition, the author raises important questions about the role of race in Germany as well as the US, which provides opportunities to open a dialogue about the merits of multiculturalism and diversity.

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