Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood

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Little Man, Little Man is the story of TJ, a five-year-old boy who lives in Harlem, New York in the 1960s. James Baldwin wrote it for his nephew, who wanted to be in a book. The book was written in a time when African-American children rarely saw themselves in books. Little Man, Little Man is more a slice of life shown in a series of episodes than a true story with a story arc, but its purpose is to portrays African-American children realistically in that place and time—not follow the perfect story elements.

Although TJ and his friends WT and Blinky are quite young, they are on their own a lot in the big city, running errands for folks in the neighborhood and seeing everyday problems—drinking, people using drugs, police going after criminals and making their way through dangerous traffic; the streets and sidewalks are their playground.

While this may look like a picture book, the text is far longer and the situations are difficult for this category. I believe the book is appropriate for a classroom of middle-schoolers as long as there is time for discussion. The great artwork by Yoran Cazac will speak to the middle-grade audience as well.

Reviewed By:

Author James Baldwin • Nicholas Boggs, Editor • Jennifer DeVere Brody, Editor • Yoran Cazac, Illustrator
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 120 pages
Publisher Duke University Press Books
Publish Date 2018-Aug-27
ISBN 9781478000044 Buy this Book
Issue January 2019
Category Tweens


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