BOOKS
Hands Up!
Hands Up! illus. by Shane W. Evans. 32p. Dial. Jan. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525552314.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 3—A black girl shares all the ways she puts her hands up. She raises them to greet the morning sun, play peek-a-boo, and to be dressed by her caring parents. As she gets older, she puts her hands up to reach for books, worship, execute ballet poses, and play basketball. As an adult she puts her hands up to advocate for change in her community. Bold digital illustrations with mixed media depict the girl doing everyday activities with her hands lifted in the air. A positive spirit pervades throughout the pages and offers a unique perspective on the phrase most recently associated with the Black Lives Matter chant, "Hands up, don't shoot!" Vibrant colors, heavy on bright yellow, coupled with straightforward prose energizes the pages. A note from the author, a children's literature scholar, explains her desire to illustrate how the phrase applies to everyday lives of African American children, who grow, have struggles, and feel joy.
VERDICT This successfully delivers a message of everyday celebration in one simple gesture. As an introduction for children to social activism, this book will serve well. A terrific read-aloud for one-on-one and small group sharing.

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