Book Review: We All Need to Come Together

We All Need to Come Together, by Kira Parris-Moore

My review: ★★★

This kids’ book is a great reinforcement of lessons from recent news. It is NOT a book to hand to your kids and walk away – it’s one for parents and kids to sit down and read together. It would also be excellent for conversations between teachers and students in school.

The book starts strong with the dedication in the front, to people like Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor, who were wrongly killed due to racial bias. The rest of the book continues with an overview of the social injustices that are at issue in recent events, and how we can all do our part to make life more fair for everyone. It touches on police brutality, the criminal justice system, protests and voting.

This is a good way for me to hold conversations with my kids about current events. There’s so much more to say than the words in the book, so the book is really just a catalyst for a discussion. It makes it that much more vivid to them that I’m NOT just reading words out of a book, but explaining in my own words. It lets me reinforce that these are real people and events, not just characters in a story.

I love the artwork. The cover does not entirely do the book justice. The artist is great at drawing people, and the book is FULL of people. It depicts a marvelous diversity of age, race, gender, ability, religion, sexual orientation. The selection of scenes is great, and backs up the messages in the book. The depiction of a small “Rest In Power” memorial is particularly poignant to me; we’ve visited such a memorial in our city with our kids, and this book shows them that it’s not an isolated case.

The vocabulary also does not “speak down” to children. I had a good conversation with them over words like “disenfranchised,” “socioeconomic,” and “rehabilitation.”

I appreciate that the book stayed away from “ACAB” messages and other negative tones. There’s even a page directly suggesting that police and communities can come together if violence issues are addressed. I sympathize with angry sentiments, but as the title states, we all need to come together in order to make change. There are too many divisive messages in today’s world. Kids and adults alike need reminders like these, that love wins. Overall the tone is upbeat and optimistic.

Trying to think of what is missing – I would have liked to see the divide between urban, suburban and rural people in here. Both in terms of political philosophy (liberal & conservative) and economics. It could probably have covered economic inequality a little more directly.

This book is best for kids in the 8-12 year age range. It doesn’t have a large page count, but it’s definitely not a quick read-through, because there’s a lot to talk about. This is a book to read with your kids in 2020. Don’t wait – grab a copy and sit down with your kids today!

Note: I was given a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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