Quantcast

Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad, illustrated by Benny Andrews

Source: Sterling Children’s Books
Hardcover, 48 pages
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad, illustrated by Benny Andrews for ages 8+, is a collection of poems that won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award in 2007.  Hughes’ poems grew from a love of Whitman and a desire to express the joys of Black culture through verse and in an unapologetic way — and many of his poems are steeped in the urban experience from New York’s Harlem to Washington, D.C.  where is poem “Big Buddy” has become an anthem for the Split This Rock Poetry Festival.

Hughes’ introduction is long, and well it should be given his influence and his numerous works, but there is enough in here to conduct an entire lesson about American culture in the 1920s and beyond.  Like in the other books of this series, there are accompanying illustrations and explanations of what the poet thought or where the inspiration came from, and more importantly, dialects, unusual terms, and geographic locations are explained in the footnotes at the bottom of the page.

From “I, Too” (page 22)

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

The beauty of Hughes’ poems is the ways in which he illustrates not only the beauty of his people, but that of America with his people in it.  Infusing poems with a musicality of jazz or blues evokes an even greater emotional response when read aloud.  Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad, illustrated by Benny Andrews, is poignant, fun, and full of history.  Poems that are less about the darker side of life and more about the joys that we find within it.

Also in the series:


IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN POETRY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE PRIZE PACK, name a favorite poet or poem in the comments. You must have a U.S. mailing address to enter. Giveaway ends April 15, 2014, at 11:59 PM EST

Book 7 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.

 

 

For today’s 2014 National Poetry Month: Reach for the Horizon tour stop, click the image below:

  • I haven’t read much Hughes so I think I’d like this one.
    Anna´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday — April 7

  • Beth Hoffman

    Oh my goodness, I got tears in my eyes when I read that poem.

  • I, Too is like a page from history. This sounds like a terrific book!