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Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

Tar Beach (1991)

by Faith Ringgold

Series: Cassie

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1,261766,273 (3.97)8



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This book is good for students to learn about people and how everyone lives a different life at home. It also inspires children to imagine and be creative. Never give up. ( )
  chretaylor | Apr 20, 2015 |
A young girl feels free and happy as she flies around her city, bridge and home. The story is completely through her eyes. She feels like the city and buildings are a part of her since she has experienced it her whole life. She loves her family and wants to give them everything.

Personal Reaction:
I loved the illustrations and how it showed a sense of family in each picture.

Classroom Extension:
1) Draw a picture of themselves flying above their favorite places.
2) Write about a dream. ( )
  SarahMoore | Mar 25, 2015 |
The writing and artwork in this book, a combination of painting and quiltwork, feels deeply personal. Together, they tell a beautiful story of family, community, hopes, and dreams. ( )
  EliseMT | Mar 11, 2015 |
This was a book about a young girl recalling her visits to Tar Beach, which she recollected in a nostalgic, dreamlike way.I enjoyed this book because of all of the social injustices it pointed out; the protagonist "in her dream" was able to fly over the city, and make all of the changes she wanted. These changes included buying the apartment building they lived in, so rent would no longer be a problem, as well as taking over the workers union who wouldn't let her father in because he was black. I think it did a good job of pointing out many of the social injustices that occurred in the past. This isn't my favorite book because it seemed very unrealistic and implausible; The protagonist starts by simply remembering her visits to Tar Beach, in a seemingly factual way. She then goes on to fly over the city, and talk about all of the changes she would be able to make given her ability to fly. However, even from the context of this book, the events that were recollected occurred in the past; she didn't and can't fly, yet in this book she is "remembering" a time that she did fly. Furthermore, she talks about all the changes she would have made, in the past, if she were able to fly, yet society has already adopted some of those changes. For example, if she could fly over the union building, allegedly, the owners would recognize her abilities and give her ownership, which would allow her to give her father membership, even though he is black. Today, which is when this story is technically set (since the protagonist is remembering trips she made as a child) it is illegal for a union to refuse membership based on the grounds of race, so some of the injustices that the protagonist would have fixed by having the ability to fly have already been addressed by the time the protagonist is recollecting these events. I enjoy historical fiction and historically accurate books that point out injustices we have done in the past, and I enjoy modern fantasies, but this was a book set in the present that was addressing social issues of the past, some of which had been addressed, even by the time that the actual setting of this book took place in. Racism certainly still exists, but this book seemed to talk about historical issues from a modern setting.

Reading level 2-5 ( )
  AdamLarson | Dec 9, 2014 |
Faith Ringgold is an author and artist who tells her stories through and on her “story quilts.” Her story Tar Beach is the perfect book to do as a Read Aloud for a Heritage Day unit. The students, through the use of metaphors and symbols, learn about Ringgold’s dreams and struggles as she flies over the city. Students can create their own story quilts that represent their family or their own hopes and dreams. There are many videos documenting Faith Ringgold’s life and career as an artist. She a powerful figure and her story is inspiring. ( )
  Taranto | Dec 2, 2014 |
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"I will always remember when the stars fell down around me and lifted me up above the George Washington Bridge."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0517885441, Paperback)

Illus. in full color. "Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the 'tar beach' of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one's world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book."--(starred) Horn Book.  

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author's quilt painting of the same name.

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