These Hands by Margaret H. Mason

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These Hands by Margaret H. Mason and Illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Houghton Mifflin, March 2011) tells two stories: one of a grandfather teaching his grandson how to do great things with his hands, like tie a shoe and shuffle cards. The other story the grandfather teaches his grandson is how those same hands were not allowed to touch the bread in the Wonder Bread factory; grandfather’s hands and many others went to work petitioning for Civil Rights.

The illustrations are realistic paintings that perfectly capture the mood of the grandfather and grandson working, learning, and playing together. As I read the story of the Civil Rights petitions, I felt chills; it’s a moving true story of what people can do together. The story was powerfully told, and I loved how the story came full circle, the young boy celebrating all his hands can do now, including baking bread, thanks to those who did work to petition for rights. These Hands includes a historical note at the end. 

Reviewed on November 15, 2011

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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