Let's Talk About Race

by Julius Lester

Paperback, 2008





Amistad (2008), Edition: Reprint, 32 pages


The author introduces the concept of race as only one component in an individual's or nation's "story."

User reviews

LibraryThing member lnpowers
I liked this approach to race in that is puts it out there and tells kids that we are all the same in many ways. Some people like pancakes or macaroni and cheese and we are the same in that matter even if we are different in the color of our skin.

This book could be used in a program to teach children how to look at the world in a multicultural way.… (more)
LibraryThing member ekean06
This is an excellent example of an informational book on the idea of race. It describes he different colors and types of people that make up the world and make up the United States. It also introduces the idea that if we all "took off" for a day we might come to knwo and appreciate eachotehr for who we are not what color we are.… (more)
LibraryThing member michelleraphael
A story about a regular person, who happens to be black. The whole book is about how we are all alike, even if we look different. Filled with very colorful and interesting illustrations.
LibraryThing member Ms.Penniman
Retelling: Everyone has a story. The people that say "My race is better than yours are telling a story that is not true." Anyone who says they are better than someone else is telling an untrue story. To know someone's story you have to ask.

Thoughts and Feelings: Whew! When I worked in North Philadelphia I heard some extremely insensitive remarks coming from very young children. The holier-than-thou attitude is alive and well. I love that this book encourages people to ask other about their culture and customs, to find out more. Ignorance can be very damaging.… (more)
LibraryThing member lindyvee
This multicultural book takes on the difficult task of explaining the problems with race. It starts by showing the similarities in every person. Then, it addresses the problems caused by thinking one race is better than the other. The author shows that beneath the skin, everyone is alike. He states that everyone has a story and that race isn't all their is to a person.

Although the concept is good, I felt this book was written in a way that would be very difficult for young readers to grasp. The pictures were colorful and he did a good job of depicting different races. However, for me it jumped around a lot and it was hard to stay focused on what the author was trying to say.

This book could be used to start a discussion on how each child is different and alike. Also, each child could tell their "story" to the class and then compare it to others as well.
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LibraryThing member JoseDelAguila
The author introduces the concept of race as only one component in an individual's or nation's "story."
LibraryThing member MSittig
Julius Lester writes this book because all of our lives are different. There are many things about somebody that makes them unique. Not everyone is the same. This book will have readers understand why no one is alike or the same person. The beautiful paintings on each page brings together the uniqueness of the story.
LibraryThing member yyoon4
I absolutely loved this book. The main message of this story is that beneath our skin, we all look alike; there is no need to argue which race is better than the other. Instead, what matters is who we are by what is not seen on the outside. The message is my favorite part of this book. It helps readers to think about the tough issues of race and prejudice. I think “Let's Talk About Race” is a marvelous book that comfortably and naturally helps readers accept others who do not look like themselves, and broaden their perspectives on acceptance. What I found most profound was the way the author talks to readers himself, and helps them understand himself and others at a well-developed pace. For example, the author uses a first-person point of view to help readers feel personal with him. Almost like a conversation. The author starts off with introducing that we all have a story that is alike. “I am a story. So are you. So is everyone. My story begins the same way yours does: I was born on _______. Take me, for example. I was born on January 27, 1939.” The story goes on to asking what race the reader is, to introducing all kinds of races, to why people are prejudiced, then to specific parts of the human body. Another great feature of this book is that the author asks questions to readers such as, “How does your story begin?” and “I'll take off my skin. Will you take off yours?” I will definitely be using this book for my future classroom.

“I am so, so, so many things besides my race.”
“I'll take off my skin. Will you take off yours?”
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LibraryThing member SqueakyChu
This is a lovely, colorful book that tells how we are all alike. It should encourage any child to think about who a person is rather than what he or she looks like before judging that person's character.
LibraryThing member catherineparry
This nonfiction book tackles the topic of race in a positive, kid-friendly way.
Media: oil pastels, acrylic
LibraryThing member NEYM_RE_Library
Great book.
LibraryThing member Tammie14
For the most part I really enjoyed “Let’s Talk about Race”. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is at times I found the writing to be a little boring. I like how Lester points out our differences as humans, yet at are core we are all the same. A quote that illustrates how we are all the same is, “Beneath everyone’s skin are the same old bones.” I also like how Lester addresses how people think their race, culture, gender, etc. is superior to another, but they “are telling a story that is not true”. I also like how Lester uses the analogy that we are all a story, but our race is just one part of our story.

The big message of this book is simple. It is only when we allow ourselves to delve deeper into each other's character, asking questions about mutual likes and dislikes, about where we were born and the pictures formed by our own personal histories, that we can begin to truly know each other.
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LibraryThing member jessicaedelman
I enjoyed this book for various reasons including the message, the writing style, and the illustrations. The message of this book is that everyone is a “story” and their stories are not defined by race but rather an immense amount of other characteristics, likes, and dislikes. The author expresses that if everyone was to remove their skin, thus removing their race, they would be able to recognize every one else's stories.
I enjoyed the illustrations in this book because they are vivid, creative, and assist in the comprehension of the text. The colors used in the illustrations represent the various different races that make up the world population. The illustration of the narrator's house and portrait portray a big red house in the woods and a medium height black man just like the text claims.
I also enjoyed the writing style that the author utilizes in this book. The writing is engaging, organized, and easy to understand. The text engages the reader by asking questions of the reader that they must think about. For example, the narrator asks, “How does your story begin?” after introducing himself. As a result of the text being easy to understand the importance of the message does not get lost.
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Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 8.5 inches


0064462269 / 9780064462266


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