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Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Pink and Say

by Patricia Polacco

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Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
“Pink and Say” by Patricia Polacco was an excellent book. It is written in the memory of Pinkus Aylee, an African American soldier who fought alongside Sheldon Curtis in the Civil War. It is written from the perspective of Sheldon, which was really interesting because the entire book is written in his Southern dialect: “I wanted to go back to our farm in Ohio, and sometimes, when I’d fall into one of them strange sleeps, I’d be there with my Ma, tastin’ baking powder biscuits fresh out of her wood stove”. I liked the book because the overall message, and the way this message is portrayed, is very powerful. The main idea of “Pink and Say” is the idea that we must be selfless, and help those in need. Pinkus helped Sheldon when he was on the brink of death, and nursed him back to help when Pinkus himself was also badly wounded. Another reason I liked this book is because it pushes the reader to think about tough issues, the way in which Pinkus was treated is despicable. This book causes the reader to reflect upon the hardships that African American soldiers faced at this time. The last page of the book was very powerful, with the Polacco urging the reader to never forget about Pinkus: “When you read this, before you put this book down, say his name out loud and vow to remember him always”. ( )
  marmig2 | May 4, 2015 |
What a wonderful story about a real life event that took place during the Civil War Ear. Polacco does a great job of keeping the interest of the reader. This is a book that can be read during a history lesson about the Civil War. ( )
  KRW15 | Apr 30, 2015 |
I absolutely loved this book. Patricia Polacco is an amazing author and conveys the story in such a way that the reader feels part of the story. I really enjoyed how the story was more about friendship and bravery than it was about the civil war. In the book, Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say) was a Union soldier in the Civil War. He was only fifteen when he was injured in battle. He ran away from his unit and was shot while he was running. Pinkus Aylee, a colored Union soldier, found Say bleeding to death in a pasture. Pink takes Say home and introduces him to his mom, Moe Moe Bay. They stayed with Pink’s mom for a few weeks until they were well enough to return to the war. Right before Pink and Say leave, a group of bandits come and ransack the house looking for food. The bandits kill Moe Moe Bay, and Pink and Say bury the body under a tree. While walking back to the Union troops, Pink and Say are captured by Confederate soldiers and taken to Andersonville, one of the worst Confederate prison camps. Pink and Say are separated and never see each other again. Say gets released several months later and returned home to eventually marry Abagail Barnard and have seven children. However, Pink unfortunately never returned home. It is said that he was hanged within hours of arriving at Andersonville. This story was passed down from Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say) to his daughter Rosa, who then told the story to her daughter Estella, who then told her son William, who finally told his daughter Patricia, who decided to write this book to share the story with everyone. I think the main idea of this story is to show how different races can work together and become friends despite what is happening in the world. ( )
  zfrid | Apr 25, 2015 |
Summary: The book tells a story of two boys involved in the civil war who become friends. Say is a white soldier that gets wounded on the battlefield and gets saved by a black soldier named Pink, who is a former slave. Pink takes Say back to his home, where his mother's concern is a predominant part of the book. She discusses her frustrations on the war and the constant struggles she undergoes on the ranch. Pink and Say must go back to war, but their friendship creates a strong sense of strength at the end of the book.

Personal Reflection: I really enjoyed this book because it gave a historical point of view on the American Civil War and it gave a different perspective to students that only view the Civil Rights War as a time of only conflict between blacks and whites. The friendship and protection in this book helps demonstrate a likeness between all humans and the morals of helping other people and the golden rule. It also shows a strong sense of responsibility and self-worth because the young boys are fighting in a war that forces them to grow up very quickly.

Class use: I would use this book when discussing themes on the Civil Rights Movement and segregation along with themes of unity and friendship. I would ask students to think about the mutual benefits Say and Pink received from their friendship and how it helped them throughout the book.
  MelissaKlatt | Apr 22, 2015 |
This is a great book that shows that it was difficult during war. It will tug at your heart through some parts of the book but it is overall a great read. It shows that children are brave. Recommended for ages 12 to 15
  margaritamunoz14 | Mar 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
Hands and gestures have always been important in Polacco's work. Here they are at the center of a picture book based on a true incident in the author's own family history. It's a story of interracial friendship during the Civil War between two 15-year-old Union soldiers. Say, who is white and poor, tells how he is rescued by Pinkus (Pink), who carries the wounded Say back to the Georgia home where Pink's black family were slaves. In a kind of idyllic interlude, Pink and his mother nurse Say back to health, and Pink teaches his friend to read; but before they can leave, marauders kill Pink's mother and drag the boys to Andersonville prison. Pink is hanged, but Say survives to tell the story and pass it on across generations. The figure of Pink's mother borders on the sentimental, but the boys' relationship is beautifully drawn. Throughout the story there are heartbreaking images of people torn from a loving embrace. Pictures on the title and copyright pages show the parallel partings as each boy leaves his family to go to war. At the end, when the friends are wrenched apart in prison, the widening space between their outstretched hands expresses all the sorrow of the war. Then, in a powerful double-page spread, they are able to clasp hands for a moment, and their union is like a rope. Say once shook Lincoln's hand, just as Say held Pink's hand, and Say tells his children, who tell theirs, that they have touched the hand that touched the hand . . .
added by sriches | editBooklist
Gr 4 UpSay, 15, had never seen a black person up close until Pink, also a young Union soldier, saves his life. During his brief stay in Pink's home, the wounded boy comes to understand his friend's unconquerable vision of freedom. A memorable family reminiscence with evocative paintings. (Oct. 1994)
added by sriches | editSchool Library Journal
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To the memory of Pinkus Aylee
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Follows the story of two boys during the Civil War. One was a slave and one was a soldier. The soldier named Say gets saved by Pink, who was a slave and is taken back to his slave home. It tells the story of this great friendship.
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Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops. Based on a true story about the author's great-great-grandfather.

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