Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

This slim book of poetry and art is outstanding. Its poems are written in the tanka form, a type of poetry similar to haiku, but where haiku has seventeen syllables over three lines, tanka is thirty one syllables distributed over 5 lines, the first three lines being in the style of haiku. Mr. Medina has crafted an impressive poetry collection descriptive the experience of young black males in America today. The illustrations accompanying these lovely short works are provided by artistic members of the African American art community: Floyd Cooper, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Skip Hill, Tiffany McKnight, Robert Liu-Trujillo, Keith Mallett, Kesha Bruce, Brianna McCarthy, R. Gregory Christie, Euka Holmes, Javaka Steptoe, and Chandra Cox. A brief description of each artist’s style and medium is included in the book. Additional background information about Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy is included, as well.

Located in Children’s Nonfiction (J 811.54 MED)

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