He Said – She Said By Kwame Alexander
Okay, now today Kwame has me by including my favorite author in the novel, Pat Conroy! Now if this gets YA to read Conroy’s books, I’ll put up with the holes in the plot that you could see coming. The plot is not what drives this book, it is the language and the characters. Omar’s personality becomes more fleshed out as the story goes on, and he becomes less jock, more crusader. I loved Uncle Al, Spooky, and Clefe’s banter on the steps. Claudia becomes less perfect and more identifiable with her weaknesses. A satisfying ending, and perhaps a sequel will follow. Alexander is a novelist that can entertain a reader with his use of today’s language, slang, and text lingo.
Claudia’s tirade against Conroy’s novel, The Water is Wide got me thinking about me being a teacher in an inner city school. Is that how Alexander feels about all white teachers in predominantly black schools? What saddens me is that everyone speaks the words, “Color doesn’t matter, children are children”, but from all races I hear that they feel it does. No one bothers to listen to me when I say with my heart, “I see a child before me and I want to teach to that child’s heart, mind and soul. I see what is inside, not what is on the outside”. If you believe me, great. If you don’t, I really don’t care. I just care what the children think and if I do my job the best that I can.