FICTION

The World Needs More Purple People

Random. Jun. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593121962.
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Gr 2-5–This book answers a question you never knew you had: What is a purple person? The answer isn’t in skin tone or clothing choice, but in personality. A “purple person” is someone who is kind, curious, and silly. Purple is made when red and blue work together. Is this a subtle political allegory for the elementary school set? Penny, the book’s young narrator, looks like she may have been modeled off a young Bell, the actress and author of this title, and her classmates are a diverse group. All of the bright illustrations are populated with smiles, laughter, and rainbows. Penny engages in enjoyable activities, like wearing a monster costume to school and helping her grandfather water strawberry bushes.
VERDICT Bell and Hart appear to have created the concept of “purple people” for this book, and although the label is nonsensical, the message is inspiring: Ask questions, advocate for positive change, and have fun while collaborating with members of your family and community.

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