The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth
The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth

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Annotation: Thirty diverse and award-winning authors and illustrators capture frank discussions about racism, identity, and self-esteem.
Catalog Number: #287581
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 148 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-593-12161-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9618-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-593-12161-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9618-7
Dewey: 305.800973
LCCN: 2020011095
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
In the African American community, parents and caregivers engage their children in conversations aimed at helping them cope with racism and discrimination in a society that fails to respect their heritage, ethnicity, and race. This pervasively practiced ritual is called "The Talk." The Hudsons (We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, rev. 11/18) here widen the scope to include other perspectives, including Latinx, Native American, and Asian American voices. In this honest yet inspirational and hopeful collection of seventeen works, including "letters, lists, poems, short stories, and essays" and art, thirty authors and illustrators share their experiences navigating the daunting challenges of preparing and protecting their children in a racist world. The diverse voices offer guidance on how to respond to stereotypical labeling and microaggressions, explore how and why racism exists, affirm self-worth and pride, and extol cultural identity. Each entry is illustrated with art that expands its message and theme. Accompanied by Erin K. Robinson's Madonna-and-child-esque portrait of comfort, a poem by Nikki Grimes explores the feelings of a child who is called the n-word [NB: the word is spelled out in the text] by a friend's father. In Tracey Baptiste's story "Ten," a Black mother gives her son ten pointers for surviving their routine traffic stop: "doing all of the things you need to so you can get back [home to family]"; April Harrison's evocative double-page image of their hands in full view on the dashboard speaks to a reality of life and reiterates the relevance of the volume's purpose. A well-conceived anthology that provides much-needed enlightenment and opportunity for both reflection and discussion. Back matter unseen.
Kirkus Reviews
This star-studded collection of #ownvoices authors calls readers in for necessary reminders in service of everyday actions that we must pursue to cultivate real change.This collection is right on time. As many people reach for undifferentiated anti-racist reading lists to catch up to the Black-led front lines of today’s social movements, the Hudsons take an approach for young readers that emphasizes intergenerational relationships, familial intimacy, and intersectional justice. These are “real conversations,” both in that many of them draw from true personal experiences and also in the sense that they revel in depth and substance. The editors put it this way: “With advice and love, harsh realities and encouraging words, the talks offered in this anthology…embrace honest ways of thinking that help expand ourselves and others in a complex and diverse society.” Each contribution has its own unique viewpoint paired with arresting grayscale illustrations; together they take on a diversity of forms including prose, poems, and comics. Race plays a central role, yet the conversations expand beyond a Black-White binary to be inclusive of Asian, Latinx, and Native experiences as well. An all-star list of authors and illustrators appears throughout the pages—an embarrassment of literary riches. Backmatter includes explanatory notes from some of the authors, and biographical notes on all the contributors. It’s a perfect sequel to the Hudsons’ critically acclaimed collection We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (2018).The ingredients are all here. May this magnificent collection inspire us to move from dialogue to deep action. (backmatter) (Anthology. 10-adult)
School Library Journal
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.Ruth Guerrier-Pierre, New York Public Library
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
This star-studded collection of #ownvoices authors calls readers in for necessary reminders in service of everyday actions that we must pursue to cultivate real change.This collection is right on time. As many people reach for undifferentiated anti-racist reading lists to catch up to the Black-led front lines of today’s social movements, the Hudsons take an approach for young readers that emphasizes intergenerational relationships, familial intimacy, and intersectional justice. These are “real conversations,” both in that many of them draw from true personal experiences and also in the sense that they revel in depth and substance. The editors put it this way: “With advice and love, harsh realities and encouraging words, the talks offered in this anthology…embrace honest ways of thinking that help expand ourselves and others in a complex and diverse society.” Each contribution has its own unique viewpoint paired with arresting grayscale illustrations; together they take on a diversity of forms including prose, poems, and comics. Race plays a central role, yet the conversations expand beyond a Black-White binary to be inclusive of Asian, Latinx, and Native experiences as well. An all-star list of authors and illustrators appears throughout the pages—an embarrassment of literary riches. Backmatter includes explanatory notes from some of the authors, and biographical notes on all the contributors. It’s a perfect sequel to the Hudsons’ critically acclaimed collection We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (2018).The ingredients are all here. May this magnificent collection inspire us to move from dialogue to deep action. (backmatter) (Anthology. 10-adult)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* For some, "The Talk" is a form of insuring life and survival. For others, it's facing the reality of the covert ways that their worth is diminished and even trivialized. Still, there are those for whom "The Talk" is a harrowing realization of the systems of oppression from which they benefit. In this collection of short stories, letters, and poems, the defining factor of "The Talk" is race and racial identity. From letters affirming the beauty of being bilingual, to preparing young Black children for encounters with the police, and even a perspective shift on criminalization of certain peoples by way of Greek mythology, there are hard lessons that this collection takes on with a spirit of loving urgency. Contributors include children's authors such as Grace Lin, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Christopher Myers, among others, spanning a range of diverse racial backgrounds and vantage points as they address young people about the weight and severity of racial inequities in the U.S. Black-and-white illustrations from various contributors offer a range of stylistic approaches that renders each entry as distinct from the others as the experiences that are shared. Though readers of color may find a number of these entries far too familiar, there is striking versatility in the approaches, cultures, and experiences of the authors that will compel readers of all backgrounds to continue forward.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (8/1/20)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 13,298
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 511889 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 780L
Foreword
 
There are many reasons why parents and caregivers share "The Talk" with children. For some, it's to prepare their daughter for the challenges she will surely face because she is female. Others have "The Talk" because of their youngster's sexual orientation. Immigrant parents have few options but to have it. And many have it because their son or daughter chooses to pursue an occupation, join a team, or participate in an organization where they were not often welcome because of their
physical appearance.
 
The list goes on. There are myriad versions of "The Talk" because there are myriad ways to be human. And we wish we had the space to capture all of these conversations within these pages, because we know they are happening and we know people are hurting. This collection focuses on race, but we hope our readers see the words and images shared here as a starting point and a way we can all begin to build a more accepting world for each other.
 
In our home, we had "The Talk" with our daughter, Katura, and our son, Stephan. Many times. As adults responsible for two beautiful Black children, we knew how essential it was to give them the tools to make their way as safely as possible in a society that is too often hostile to them simply because they are African American. Especially as sometimes that hostility leads to the loss of Black life. So we drummed into them the dos and don'ts, the places to go and places to avoid, what to say, what not to say, and even how to say it. Just as our parents did for us. We desperately wanted to keep our kids protected, but we also didn't want to erode their positive self-esteem or sense of place in the world. Our talks were balancing acts indeed.
 
We can only imagine the kinds of talks that occur in homes and schools today because so many of us are being picked on, pushed aside, told we don't belong, or told to go back to where we came from. But we knew a group of people who would have that knowledge firsthand.
 
The outstanding writers and artists whose work is featured in this anthology are intimately familiar with these crucial discussions and know just how important they can be. "The Talk," as much as any conversation can, helped them become more aware and better equipped when faced with the challenges the world threw at them--challenges that their parents and loved ones anticipated. They share their experiences and the impact "The Talk" has had on their lives as well as the lessons they have passed on to their own children.
 
In these pages, the authors and illustrators use different forms and styles. There are letters, lists, poems, short stories, and essays. Illustrations are rendered in watercolor, collage, pen and ink, acrylic, comix frames, and digital styles. And their messages are as diverse as their mediums.
 
These revealing and frank moments expose lessons of empowerment and periods of shame, times when the contributors were told they were small and instances when role models insisted they were born to be big. With advice and love, harsh realities and encouraging words, the talks offered in this anthology are real conversations that embrace honest ways of thinking that help expand ourselves and others in a complex and diverse society. Too frequently, we are silenced from having tough conversations because we feel we don't have the words. But what these award-winning creators of books for children and young adults share in this collection are stories and images that are filled with love, acceptance, truth, peace,
and an assurance that there can be hope for a better tomorrow and a better future for all of us. So, let's talk.

Excerpted from The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love and Truth
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Thirty diverse, award-winning authors and illustrators invite you into their homes to witness the conversations they have with their children about race in America today in this powerful call-to-action that invites all families to be anti-racists and advocates for change.

As long as racist ideas persist, families will continue to have the difficult and necessary conversations with their young ones on the subject. In this inspiring collection, literary all-stars such as Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears), Adam Gidwitz (The Inquisitor's Tale), and many more engage young people in frank conversations about race, identity, and self-esteem. Featuring text and images filled with love, acceptance, truth, peace, and an assurance that there can be hope for a better tomorrow, The Talk is a stirring anthology and must-have resource published in partnership with Just Us Books, a Black-owned children's publishing company that's been in operation for over thirty years. Just Us Books continues its mission grounded in the same belief that helped launch the company: Good books make a difference.
 
So, let's talk.

Featured contributors: Selina Alko, Tracey Baptiste, Derrick Barnes, Natacha Bustos, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Raul Colón, Adam Gidwitz, Nikki Grimes, Rudy Gutierrez, April Harrison, Wade Hudson, Gordon C. James, Minh Lê, E. B. Lewis, Grace Lin, Torrey Maldonado, Meg Medina, Christopher Myers, Daniel Nayeri, Zeke Peña, Peter H. Reynolds, Erin K. Robinson, Traci Sorell, Shadra Strickland, Don Tate, MaryBeth Timothy, Duncan Tonatiuh, Renée Watson, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Sharon Dennis Wyeth

"Project[s] love and support." --The New York Times

"The go-to book for talking to kids about race and privilege. . . . A must-read for every family." --Ellen Oh, editor of Flying Lessons & Other Stories and cofounder of We Need Diverse Books


"May this magnificent collection inspire us to move from dialogue to deep action." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review


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