Thursday, September 6, 2007

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

I really enjoyed this one. What an interesting and different perspective on slavery. What Elijah's parents have told him about former slaves is insightful, sensitive, and seems very realistic. In the children's playing slavers and abolitionists (and Elijah's revelation about it), CPC even addresses the tendency to soften slavery in depictions for children. The last few chapters are truly haunting, and yet I wouldn't hesitate to have a 9 or 10 year old read this book. CPC has struck just the right balance of acknowledging and showing the horrors, but without making it too overwhelming for his audience.

One of my favorite narrative tricks is when an author uses a very limited first person viewpoint and is still able to let the reader know more than the narrator. It's one of the things I love about Walk Two Moons (among others), and CPC does it so very well here.

I will definitely be recommending this one to the sixth graders, who study both civil rights and sustainability. I will be very interested to hear their responses to it.

*publication date: October 2007

No comments: