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Deidre's Book Reviews

My Favorite Joyce Carol Thomas Books
Home
True Believer
The Tale of Despereaux
The Giver
The First Part Last
A Single Shard
How Angel Peterson Got His Name
SHAKA: King of the Zulus
The Gold Cadillac
ACTUAL SIZE
Freedman's Voice that Challenged A Nation
Messages in the Mailbox
Seymour's Stars
Author Study: Joyce Carol Thomas
My Favorite Joyce Carol Thomas Books
Suggested Response Activity
Review of Thomas's Hush Songs
Review of Thomas's Gingerbread Days
Ride a Purple Pelican
My Momma Likes to Say
My Man Blue
Beast Feast
Whoppers
Cinderella
The Stinky Cheese Man
Once Upon A Time
My Friend Rabbit
Caring for Your Pets
Two Bad Ants

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“Joyce Carol Thomas’ books are enchanted kites, which her playful soul flies. Genuine human instinct and intuition are the sky through which they imaginatively glide.”

— Professor Stan Brown, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

 

------------. 2004. The Gospel of Cinderella. Ill. by David Diaz. New Haven: Amistad.

This book was chosen because it is a fresh, ethical variant of the famous tale, Cinderella.  It focuses on the gospel music tradition of African Americans, and adds a whole new spin to the tale.

                                           

------------. 2002. Crowning Glory. Ill. by Brenda Joysmith. New YorkJoanna Cotler.

Of course, I like this book because it describes the beauty of African American hair.  It talks about how it can be combed and styled in so many unique ways.

 

------------. 2001. A mother’s heart, a daughter’s love: poems for us to share.New York: Joanna Cotler.

The poems in this book make me think of how much I cherish my mother and the time we spend together.  There is a peaceful aroma received when reading these bonding poems.

 

------------. 2000. The bowlegged rooster: and other tales that signify. New York: HarperCollins.

I chose this book because it reminds me of how important it is to celebrate life.  It touches on the important events in life: birth, death, baptism, marriage, and rejoicing.   

 

------------. 1999. Marked by Fire. New York: HarperTempest.

This is one of her first novels. So it is a good starting point for reading Thomas's writing.  Even in this novel, you can follow the rhythm of Abyssinia's words and see how they resonate.

 

------------. 1998. Cherish me. Ill. by Nneka Bennett. New York:

                HarperFestival.

I love this book because it celebrates uniqueness, love, and self-awareness on a very young level that is easy to understand by even preschool aged children.

 

------------. 1998. I have heard of a land. Ill. by Floyd Cooper. New York: Joanna Cotler.

This book serves as a tribute to the African-American pioneer spirit.  It focuses on family history, and explains how newly freed slaves raced to Oklahoma for a hopeful future.  I especially like this book because it talks about the rich culture and shows the determination of African American slaves.

                                              

-------------. 1995. Gingerbread Days. Ill. by Floyd Cooper. New York: Joanna Cotler Books.  

 This book demonstrates how a family read, worship, and play together in a year’s time span. I like it because it talks about God how we are all blessed.

 

-------------. 1993. Brown honey in broomwheat tea. Ill

                by Floyd Cooper. New York: HarperCollins.

I like this particular book because its lyrical poems celebrate the beauty of the African American culture.

 

-------------. 1990. A Gathering of flowers: stories about being

                young in America. New York: HarperCollins.

This particular book is a great tool to teach about life & its hardships – regardless of ethnic background. 

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Readers' comments.......
 
 
 

"…Your poems reminded me of when I do my hair every morning, and it is hard choosing because there are so m any hair styles…”

— 6th grade student

 

“We adopted a new baby, and when we sang Hush Songs our baby’s eyes lit up. Reading and listening have become a habit. Our little one reaches for Joyce’s books and other books several times a day.

— New Parents

 
 
* These comments and many more can be found on the author's website:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Last updated: March 3, 2005