"Right here, I'm sharing the honest-to-goodness." — Loretta
"I'm gon' reach back, and tell how it all went. I'm gon' speak on it. My way." — Roly"I got more nerve than a bad tooth. But there's nothing bad about being bold." — Aggie B.
Loretta, Roly, and Aggie B., members of the Little family, each present the vivid story of their young lives, spanning three generations. Their separate stories — beginning in a cotton field in 1927 and ending at the presidential election of 1968 — come together to create one unforgettable journey.
Through an evocative mix of fictional first-person narratives, spoken-word poems, folk myths, gospel rhythms and blues influences, Loretta Little Looks Back weaves an immersive tapestry that illuminates the dignity of sharecroppers in the rural South. Inspired by storytelling's oral tradition, stirring vignettes capture how each child encounters an unexpected mystical gift, passed down from one family member to the next, that ignites their experience what it means to reach for freedom. With an innovative format and gorgeous spot illustrations, this novel delivers a front-row seat to the groundbreaking moments in history that led to African Americans earning the right to vote.
"Author Pinkney’s writing is alive with imagery; the unusual monologue format works ideally read aloud in pieces and offers rich opportunities for readers' theater. Each character presents an engaging contrast to the others, and the slow progress from Jim Crow days to the 1960s illuminates a little-examined piece of U.S. history while making it deeply personal. Illustrator Pinkney’s grayscale paintings open and close chapters with rounded frames and expressive features, memorably connecting and highlighting the story's themes of family and land. Readers will hear the history come alive." — Kirkus Reviews
|10 - 13
|Andrea Davis Pinkney
|Sep 29, 2020
|Little, Brown Books for Young Readers