Sunday, January 22, 2006

Americans Who Tell the Truth

Shetterly, Robert. 2005. AMERICANS WHO TELL THE TRUTH. New York: Dutton. ISBN 0525474293 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-8]

Artist Robert Shetterly takes fifty different Americans who took a stand on difficult issues and told the truth. He creates visual and verbal portraits of these people that are so true to their nature one would think their portraits are photographs. Beneath each illustration is a statement of truth that each subject made, such as this one from Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. Is it spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” p. 20

Shetterly takes commonly known people like Mark Twain, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr., and intertwines them with some who may be lesser-known individuals such as Jane Addams and W. E. B Dubois. The statements of these Americans express viewpoints that get to the heart of what it means to be an American.

Children can choose one of the Americans portrayed and learn more about his or her life. This could include dressing like the person, visiting his or her hometown, if possible, and learning what life was like for this person and why Shetterly might have chosen the statement that he did. The children could then present what they learned in a manner such as “A day in the life of . . . ”

Book relating to politics/history:
Dangor, Achmat. BITTER FRUIT. ISBN 0802170064

By Paige A. Poe

No comments: