|Published in 2010 |
By Disney Jump at the Sun Books
Sharon Flake's book You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and Poems About Boys provides insight into the minds of young, African-American males who may often be misunderstood by people who don't understand
Flake's dedication reveals her reason for writing this book: "To my parents, Langston Hughes, and my neighborhood family, who showed me how beautiful I was; who reminded me what a great gift my neighborhood was to the planet, who taught me that the way I spoke was music to the ears and that it was okay to simply be me--a little black girl from the inner city of Philadelphia. To all who read and find my words, I give you the light that they all lit up in me. GO FORTH AND SHINE.
Other books Flake has written include The Broke Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street, Bang!, Who Am I Without Him, Money Hungry, Begging for Change, and The Skin I'm In. You can tell by the titles what kind of background Flake comes from. This book is powerful because it
Here are just a few lines of the first poem in her book "You Don't Even Know Me"; it speaks directly to teachers:
I sit in your class
I play by the rules
So of course I think I'm cool.
Geometry is my thing,
Physics is just a breeze.
So it bothered me last week
When you said I should be happy with that C.
I've been wondering lately,
Trying to figure out just how it could be
That you're around me so often
And still don't know a thing about me. . . .
As the poem continues, the young man provides examples of other ways he is often misunderstood and
Sharon Flake won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for her first novel The Skin I'm In and has won the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book Award twice. She has also written books about young girls and books for adults. I highly recommend this book for teachers who have the desire to understand students who may be sitting in their classrooms every day.
Sharon Flake's Official Website
Source of Images
Find this book in your local library.