Gordon Parks

How the Photographer Captured
Black and White America

This post joins other
kidlit bloggers at
Nonfiction Monday Roundup
It's Monday!
What are you reading?
at Teacher Mentor Texts
2015 Nonfiction Picture Book
Challenge at KidLitFrenzy

Albert Whitman & Company 

(pub. 2.1.2015) 32 pages

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Carole Boston Weatherford
           and Illustrator: Jamey Christoph
C haracters: Gordon Parks

O verview from the jacket flap: 

    "His white teacher tells her all-black class, You'll all wind up porters and waiters. What did she know?
     Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood. But before he made movies and wrote books, he was a poor African American looking for work. When he bought a camera, his life changed forever.
     He taught himself how to take pictures and before long, people noticed. His success as a fashion photographer landed him a job working for the government. In Washington DC, Gordon went looking for a subject. But what he found was segregation...
     With lyrical verse and atmospheric art, Gordon Parks tells the story of how, with a single photograph, a self-taught artist got America to take notice."

antalizing taste:  

"Twenty-five years old and all but broke
when a magazine spread
about migrant farm workers
inspires him to buy a used camera. That $7.50
is the best money he will ever spend.

... In the shadow of the Capitol, 
he sees black families living in alley dwellings.
He can see that blacks have it harder than whites.

...Boiling made, Parks vows to lay bare racism
with his lens."

and something more:  The "About Gordon Parks" section at the back of the book explains that Parks was "a humanitarian as well as an artist" and he was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1988 and held more than fifty honorary doctorate degrees. It's wonderful that this book has been written about him so that children can be inspired by his many endeavors.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fine book as does Mr. Parks.
I love biographies and autobiographies and glad to find you!
My husband was a black and white photographer and loves the work of Dorothea Lange who shot photos of the Depression and Dust Bowl period. I recently read Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath so all of this is interesting to me.
And I found you from Teach Mentor Textx.
~ linda @ The Reader and the Book

Linda B said...

I enjoyed this book very much, knew his work before but not the whole story. It's inspiring and a wonderful acknowledgement of his life.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Linda B. I'm glad you too enjoyed the book.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

And also thank you to you Linda of BEING WOVEN ONE for your comments. I'm so glad you found me through Teacher Mentor Texts (great blog). Yes, black and white photos are quite evocative.

Cheriee Weichel said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I'm going to find a copy and have a look since my partner is a photographer and I like to get him some kind of book that connects to it. Thanks for the heads up.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Cheriee, Yes, it's quite fascinating to read about the power of photography. I think he will like the book! Thanks for stopping by.

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Oh wow! Sounds like another one to add to my multicultural PBB text-set! :) Thanks for sharing Jeanne!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! I'm betting you have quite an extensive PBB collection by now! Thanks for stopping by! It's always good to hear from you.