Magic Trash

A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by The Children's War
(pub. 10.1.2011)  32 pages 

A uthor: J. H. Shapiro
  and Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley-

C haracter: Tyree Guyton
O verview from the jacket flap: 

     "Vacant lots. Abandoned houses. Trash - lots of trash. Heidelberg Street was in trouble!
     Tyree Guyton loved his childhood home - that's where his grandpa Sam taught him to 'paint the world.' So he wanted to wake people up ... to make them see Detroit's crumbling communities.
     Paintbrush in hand, Tyree cast his artistic spell, transforming everyday junk into magic trash. Soon local kids and families joined Tyree in rebuilding their neighborhood, discovering the healing power of art along the way.
     Tyree Guyton, a sculptor and painter, founded the Heidelberg Project, located on Detroit's East side, in 1986. For the last twenty-five years, his art and community activism have inspired people to see how art can create positive change in their lives." 
T antalizing taste: 

     "His mama didn't earn enough money sewing and cleaning to buy new shoes, much less bikes and balls. So he zapped fun into amazing junk that others tossed away.
      Popsicle sticks became boards to build a house. The cap soared like a rocket ship. The wheel bounced, spokes jumping. Dots danced.
     Let rockets fly!
     Board tower high.
     Bounce, jump, and dance, magic trash!"

and something more:   Here's a great photo of Tyree and Jane at the Heidelberg Project in Detroit which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.  I love hearing about the story behind the story -- what inspired the author to write the book.  On her website, Jane Shapiro explains that when she was living in East Lansing, Michigan, she "discovered Tyree Guyton's art at the Kresge Art Museum [which is now closed, but a new museum at Michigan State University will open this Spring], and began writing Magic Trash."  As I too am a school group docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, I was interested to learn that Jane is currently a docent at the Portland Art Museum.  Sharing time with children in art museums is definitely a great place to get story ideas!


Books4Learning said...

awesome review! this book is new to me :)

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jeanne! I've read several reviews about this book and it does look great. Would have to search for this as well in our library.