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Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
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Pink and Say

by Patricia Polacco

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I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because of the hisrocial aspect about the Civil War and how it was a personal story that Patricia Polacco had heard from her family history. However, I am a little unsure about using this book in a younger elementary school classroom because of the topic of the Civil War and the events within the book. For example, the mother of Pink sacrifices herself in order to save both Pink and Say and the text reads "A single shot echoed through the trees outside...We waited for a sign from Moe Moe Bay, but it didn't come. Finally, we climbed out and ran outside only to see Moe Moe Bay lyin' just beyond the porch". In addition to that topic of sacrifice, one of the last pages reads "Pinkus Aylee never returned home. For him there was to be no wife, no children nor grandchildren to remember him. It was told that he was hanged within hours after he was taken into Andersonville. His body was thrown into the lime pit". The language and vocabulary used is too intense for younger elementary students especially since these students have very active imaginations and can probably envision what happened from the text.
However, besides the fact that it was a bit mature for younger elementary students, I liked the personal aspect that Patricia Polacco put into it at the end. In addition to the story being a part of her family history, she includes the names of who passed the story down to the next generation and then ends with "This is the hand, that has touched the hand, that has touched the hand, that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln". Tying the historical aspect into her family history and personal story is a good way to end the book because it allows the reader to see the significance of history and how the stories relate to someone one way or another.
  srogel1 | Feb 10, 2015 |
Pink and Say was a heart-warming tale that crosses boundaries and diffuses the commotion of war. It is a great tale of a friendship between two young boys who meet each other due to an injury, while one takes the other into his home. The mother's accepting of the wounded soldier (even though he is white), is admirable seeing that blacks and whites were segregated. The tall tale of unconditional love and friendship overpowers, and the ending tugged at my heart for sure. The addition of the beautiful watercolor pictures in the book only add to the appeal of the book and make it one to remember.
  zahammou | Dec 9, 2014 |
This picture book is a great tool for teaching about not only true friendship, but also the Civil War. After reading this picture book, students will have endless questions about the situation- which a perfect pathway to talk about the Civil War!
  manemeth | Dec 8, 2014 |
Since the story is talking about the friendship of two different people, I would make this a writing activity that included interviewing someone different in the classroom and comparing our likes and differences together and then also down on paper separate. ( )
  hollyegirard | Nov 29, 2014 |
This is a great picturebook to introduce to children and people of all ages. It follows the story of two Civil War soldiers. One is white and one is black. The black soldier, Pink, finds the white soldier, Say, injured on the ground. Pink takes Say back to his home to care for him. In turn Say teaches Pink to read. This shows that friendship can overlook skin color. During this time it was unheard of for such friendships to exist across skin color. This would be a great book to introduce the topic of the Civil Rights Movement and how the beginnings of it started during the Civil War era. ( )
  bmsherid | Nov 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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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Book description
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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