What do you do when you're eleven years old, over six feet tall, and not only hate basketball? Alexander "Suitcase" Bingham really wants to know. He's sick and tired of being the last kid picked in gym class. He's sick and tired of not being the athletic son his daddy seems to want. Xander has had enough. Whatever it takes to show the gym rats he can beat them at their own game, he's determined to do.
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Mildred Pitts Walter is one of those rare authors who have mastered both fiction and nonfiction, and who can write as effectively for the picture-book audience as for young adults. Widely admired for her positive, realistic portraits of African-American family life and insightful studies of African-American history and culture, she writes in response to what she once describe in a Publishers Weekly article as "a growing demand from Black parents who are looking for books that provide an authentic portrait of the Black experience written with an understanding that Blackness is more than a mere skin color."
A former kindergarten teacher, Mildred Pitts Walter truly enjoys the company of children and relishes the chance to hear what young people have on their minds during her frequent school and library appearances.
"One thing I always tell young people," she says, "is that I know a lot of people who read and don't write, but I don't know anybody who writes and doesn't read. If you really want to write you should read!"
She often asks her audience what they think a person should do if he or she wants to become a writer. "Look in the want ads?" one precocious kindergartner answered. She gets some difficult questions from her young readers as well. Once, while she was explaining why a good story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end to an elementary school audience, a hand suddenly shot up. "What about the sides?" the student wanted to know. Another time, a fourth-grader asked her, "What did the first writer read?" Mrs. Walter finds these encounters challenging-and grist for the writer's mill.
More grist comes from travel. Mildred Pitts Walter's love of exploration has taken her to western Africa, China, Cuba, Turkey, Europe, and all over the United States. Mrs. Walter is also a dedicated advocate for peace and equality whenever and wherever the opportunity arises. When her book Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World received the Coretta Scott King Award for Literature in 1987, she could not accept the award in person because she was participating in a peace walk from Leningrad (now called St. Petersburg) to Moscow. She has been honored with many other awards, including the 1993 Christopher Award for nonfiction for Mississippi Challenge (Bradbury), and the Parents Choice Award for Literature for Brother to the Wind. In 1996 she was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. When she is not traveling, Mildred Pitts Walter lives in Denver, Colorado.From Publishers Weekly:
Xander's fellow sixth-graders and his perfect older sister Brandy taunt the artistic 11-year-old by calling him "Suitcase" and "See-more" because he's a gangly six feet two inches tall and wears a size 13 shoe. But his father's disappointment in a son who loves to draw and is always picked last at basketball stings more than his peers' jabs. With the exception of the likable Xander, the adult characters prove more compelling than the roundup of usual suspects in the elementary school cast. Into this mix, Walter (Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World) injects two powerful mentors: Mrs. Cloud, the fine arts teacher, and Jeff, the insightful coach who ultimately helps him find his own game. Although Walter maintains a buoyant tone, she also delivers some painful family truths in an authentically offhand way, such as when Xander's mother jokingly tells him that his father "thinks you're lazy and don't want to ruin your long, slender artist's fingers." Flavin's black-and-white drawings softly chronicle Xander's transformation into confidence and ease. Readers will cheer for Xander as he develops his talents, manages to please both his father and himself, and sends his self-doubt packing. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Perfection Learning. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Nº de ref. de la librería 2618265053