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The Book That Changed My Life: My Heart’s Music

There are the moments when a single book scoops you up, holds you, rocks you, and begs you to feel your own soul’s depth. For me that book was — and still is — Maya Angelou’s autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I was a teenager when I encountered Maya’s signature tale. I […]

On Rising

Fifty years ago today — April 4, 1968 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s transcendent Martin Rising: Requiem for a King (Scholastic, 2018), brilliantly illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney, honors the civil rights icon’s life and work by shining light on his death. Roger calls the […]

Review of Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney; 
illus. by Brian Pinkney Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    128 pp. 1/18    978-0-545-70253-9    $19.99 A creative poetic celebration of the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. that also, as a song for the dead, includes a meticulous explanation of how and why he died. Henny Penny […]

On Rudine Sims Bishop’s “The Pinkney Family: In the Tradition” (from 1996)

“With their art and their writing, the Pinkneys have enriched American children’s literature by illuminating the experiences of African Americans and of others as well. They are committed to telling the untold stories of African Americans, to making connections across cultures, to demonstrating, as Jerry says, that ‘we as a people are as good as […]

Andrea Davis Pinkney Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by The Horn Book Guide Online counts seventy-nine biographies of Martin Luther King Jr. as being published in the last twenty-nine years. No doubt there are always more books about the […]

Five questions for Andrea Davis Pinkney

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day (Viking, 7–9 years) by Andrea Davis Pinkney is a loving tribute to an iconic picture-book character, Peter — one of the first African American children in picture books — and his creator, Ezra Jack Keats, author and illustrator […]

Review of A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by 
Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Primary, Intermediate    Viking    56 pp. 11/16    978-0-425-28768-2    $18.99 In evocative verse, Pinkney presents a picture book biography of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of the children’s classic The […]

Review of Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound

Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through 
the Motown Sound by Andrea Davis Pinkney Middle School   Roaring Brook   166 pp. 9/15   978-1-59643-973-3   $19.99   g As related by an irrepressible narrator Pinkney names “the Groove,” this history of Motown Records manages not only to smartly place the company and its hit records in the context of (mostly) […]

Hand in Hand: Author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s 2013 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

Anyone who has dared to reach for a far-off horizon knows what it takes. It takes a mighty pair of hands to craft a chain, build a bridge, make a change. It takes a mighty pair of hands to seize an opportunity. To grab a ball and run with it. To hold on tight as […]

The Multi-talented Brian Pinkney

Brian Pinkney’s art was some of the first I saw this year. Busy-Busy Little Chick chirped at me from the booth at ALA last summer, and I was smitten. While Little Chick might not be as sparkly and complicated as some of the other books we have talked about this year, it still is worthy of discussion. […]