Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pink and Say

Title: Pink and Say
Author: Patricia Polacco
Philomel Books
Publication Date: 1994
Genre/Format: Picture book/Historical fiction

Summary: Set during the Civil War and based on a true incident in the author’s own family history, Pink and Say is a story about interracial friendship of two young boys, Sheldon Curtis (Say) and Pinkus Aylee (Pink) both who are members of the Union Army.  Say is injured on the battlefield and Pink finds him, takes him home to his mother, Moe Moe Bay, where he and mother nurse him back to health. Before Pink is fully recovered, marauders come to Moe Moe’s house and both boys are captured and sent to Andersonville Prison.  Pink was hanged and Say lives to tell the story that is passed on from generation to generation.
Personal thoughts: I still get goose-bumps after reading this story no matter how many times I read it. I love reading the book aloud to students as many of them have never heard Pink and Say. I am always elated when I find that Say returned home, married, had a family and lived a very long life. There is such loss and sorrow when I read that Pink died just a short time after entering Andersonville Prison.  A powerful book to read aloud.
Read Together:   grades 3 - 12 
Read without help: grades 4 - 12
Read With:  
January’s Sparrow (Patricia Polacco, 2007), Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln(Patricia Polacco, 2011)   and Sarah Emma Edmonds was a Great Pretender: The True story of a Civil War Spy (Carrie Jones, 2011).
Snatch of Text:
 “I watched the sun edge toward the center of the sky above me. I was hurt real bad. For almost a year I’d been in this man’s war. The war between the states.  Being just a lad I was wishin’ I was home.
My leg burned and was angry from the lead ball that was lodged in it just above my knee. I felt sleepy and everything would go black. Then I’d wake up again. I wanted to back to our farm in Ohio and sometimes when I’d fall into one them strange sleeps, I’d be there with my Ma, tastin’ baking powder biscuits fresh out of her wood stove.
Then I heard a voice. For a moment I thought I was fever-dreamin’, but then I felt strong hands touch my brow, splash water I my face.” (unnumbered page)
Connections to Reading:  Activating background knowledge, Making connections, Anticipation Guide
Connections to Writing: ExpositoryFriendships are very important to middle school (elementary and high school) students.   Write a definition of what your friends mean to you and be sure you include examples.
Connections to Writing: Narrative—(1). Imagine yourself as a battlefield reporter for the Union Army and interview Pink and Say (2) Write a simulated journal/diary entry, for at least two days, from the point of view of either Pink or Say. (3) Create a Found Poem using words in the text.
Connections to Art: Illustrate and create an ABC book about the Civil War
Connections to Social Studies:  This book can serve as catalyst for a research project for older students who are studying the Civil War. Students may work by themselves, pairs, or in groups of four to research the causes of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, Andersonville Prison, leaders of the Union or Confederate Armies.

Topics Covered: Civil War, friendship, slavery, soldiers, kindness, heroes, hope,
Translated to Spanish:  Yes
Other formats: Audio book

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