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Patricia C. McKissack (1944–2017)

The death of Patricia McKissack earlier this week at age 72, four years after the death of her husband and frequent collaborator Fredrick, is a huge loss to the children’s literature community. Their son Fredrick Jr.’s description is heart-achingly poignant: “In a way, I think my mother died of a broken heart.” In Roger’s review […]

Reviews of select titles by Patricia C. McKissack

Flossie & the Fox by Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by Rachel Isadora Primary     Dial     32 pp. 10/86     0-8037-0251-5     $10.95 Library ed. 0-8037-0521-5     $10.89 Based on a story remembered from the author’s childhood, this tale of wit triumphant from the black tradition of the rural South — with its lilting cadence and colorful, carefully phrased dialect […]

Review of Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood

Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack; illus. by Brian Pinkney Preschool, Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    171 pp. 1/17    978-0-375-87088-0    $24.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-97088-7    $27.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-307-97495-2    $12.99 Children’s book royalty and storyteller supreme, […]

On Patricia and Fredrick McKissack’s “You can be president” (from March 1997)

“Our Sunday evening news conferences with the presidents were always intense, informative, and a whole lot of fun.” I don’t know about you, but on this Monday before election day, I’m in dire need of something hopeful. “You can be president,” from the March/April 1997 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, is just that. I […]

Reviews of the 2012 CSK Author Award winners

Winner: Kadir Nelson for Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray) “Most folks my age and complexion don’t speak much about the past,” begins the unnamed narrator of this graceful and personalized overview of African-American history. But this doesn’t stop her from telling the story in a sweeping account […]

For the McKissacks, Black Is Boundless

Carter Woodson would be pleased as punch. The “father of black history” was famously dour, but he was also known to light up at word of some victory for the cause — healthy ticket sales for a Negro History Week event, respectful mention in the press. What would he make, then, of a pair of […]

“You can be president”

Sunday dinner in our family is a time for sharing food and ideas. One night, we discussed the upcoming presidential election. We ended by saying to each of our three sons, “You can be president.” Spontaneously, the oldest, Fred Jr., stood up, burst forth with a full chorus of “Hail to the Chief,” and declared […]

Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack’s 1993 BGHB NF speech for “Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?”

FRED: It is with great pride and an equal measure of humility that we accept the 1993 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfic­tion, for Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman? PAT: There are more people to thank than time will permit, but we’d like to acknowledge a few people. FRED: First, we’d like to thank […]