Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood
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.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Author||James Baldwin • Nicholas Boggs, Editor • Jennifer DeVere Brody, Editor • Yoran Cazac, Illustrator|
|Page Count||120 pages|
|Publisher||Duke University Press Books|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|