Elem. – Three Lines in a Circle: The Exciting Life of the Peace Symbol

Long, Michael G. Three Lines in a Circle: The Exciting Life of the Peace Symbol. Flyaway Books. 2021. $18.00. Grades K-4.

It was only three lines in a circle. One line straight down, one line to the left, one to the right, with a circle around it. This is the picture Gerry drew as he sat at his drawing table. This was the symbol of his dream: His dream of a world without bombs. Although mocked, his symbol eventually caught on, drawing people together around the world. Between the ‘March from London to Aldermason’, to ‘Making Peace Not Hate,’ this symbol became famous for representing peace for all people.

THOUGHTS: A simple story that shares the movement of the peace sign and what it stands for. The back of this book contains detailed information on the peace sign, its creator, and influence throughout the years.

303.48 Social Change           Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

YA – Light For the World To See: A Thousand Words on Race and Hope

Alexander, Kwame. Light For the World To See: A Thousand Words on Race and Hope. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 978-0-358-53941-4. Unpaged. $14.99. Grades 6-12.

“We Can’t Breathe (from American Bullet Points).” Kwame Alexander needed to say something to shed some light on black lives and share some light of hope for the world. “Take a Stand (from Take a Knee).” Kwame Alexander saw those making a difference in sports and culture and politics, then he wrote about them in a way that reaches all of us in three simple, powerful, repetitive messages. “This is for the Undefeated (from The Undefeated).” Through this stylized reprinting of three recent poems, Kwame Alexander aims to make his words hit home for all ages, races, and people. Each of the three are short, thoughtful, visual, and effective in addressing the issues of race in our society and the need to keep that conversation and action moving – for the world to see a better future.

THOUGHTS: I have many thoughts about this small powerful book. First, read it out loud. Second, go find the videos of Kwame reading each for the Undefeated website. Next, go find someone to share, discuss, reflect on these thousand words. Finally, keep adding to your collections, reading diverse perspectives, and finding voice for those who need to be heard. This conversation and collection could really work for all ages with guidance, but perhaps the content is best for secondary grades. Highly recommended.

811 Poetry          Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD