Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship

Can I Touch Your Hair?:  Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship

How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don't know each other . . . and they're not sure they want to.

Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (of The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage), this remarkable collaboration invites readers of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.--from the publisher

Dear Mrs. Vandenberg,

Here we are, still getting used to each other, our sideways glances

turning in to high-fives and hanging out together during quiet time.

We smile when we learn we both like books, but not sports.

We nod our heads over cool shoes and colorful laces.

Now we see each other as individuals—vegans, horseback riders, readers.

We share hurts like being left out at recess and getting into trouble with our parents.

Sometimes we say the wrong thing, sometimes we misunderstand.

Now we listen, we ask questions. We are so much more than black and white!

P.S. Hey, Mrs. Vandenberg, what’s our next writing project going to be?--from the publisher

40 pages     978-1512404425    Ages 8-12

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