Hands Up!

Hands Up! illus. by Shane W. Evans. 32p. Dial. Jan. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525552314.
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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing