The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth

Crown. Aug. 2020. 160p. ed. by Hudson, Wade & Cheryl Willis Hudson, eds. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593121610.
Gr 5 Up–There comes a time when parents and caregivers have to give “The Talk” to children. “The Talk” can be about sexual orientation, racism, or gender and/or racial identity. Children can ask complex questions, which can cause adults to pause. Adults wonder, “How do I begin to answer?” This collection of poetry and prose, which focuses on race, offers a great starting point. With contributions from writers including Derrick Barnes, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nikki Grimes, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Christopher Myers, and Renée Watson, the text answers tough questions and shares the struggles of marginalized people, who are forced to navigate hostile environments. Black, Native, and immigrant experiences are spotlighted. For example, in “Why Are There Racist People?” by Duncan Tonatiuh, a student asks, “Where does racism come from?” This question leads Tonatiuh on a search to find the answer. Tonatiuh concludes that racism is a tool used to prevent unity and exploit marginalized groups. This title can be a tool for teachers, educators, and caretakers to center the intersectional struggles of diverse racial and ethnic groups, and the use of poetry and prose offers multiple ways to interact and engage with the text.
VERDICT A heartfelt collection that speaks to the multifaceted and nuanced struggles of marginalized people. Recommended for public and school libraries.

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