Children's LiteratureWade Hudson has composed a text for anyone who enjoys poetry and wishes to learn history by listening to the voices of people from the past address the issues of their times. This text begins with an overview of American history as it relates to African-Americans and their struggles for freedom and equality. This book then moves into poems of influential African-American writers throughout American history, which runs the gamut from Phillis Wheatly to Langson Hughes to Gwendolyn Brooks. Hudson presents these poets' works in the context of their own life story, which gives the reader a broader view of the poets' intentions. This book also exposes children to poets whose works they may not have read before, such as Georgia Douglas Johnson. She lived from 1886 to 1966a critical time for civil rightsand became the first female African-American writer since the early 1900s to receive national recognition for her poetry. Without the knowledge of her life and times, her poems such as "Your World" would mean less. With the context of her life, the reader can understand this rhythmic, rhymed poem in view of civil rights as well as feminism, recognizing how one's mindset can control the amount of freedom one has. In this book, Hudson clearly communicates how a people who have been oppressed have dealt with despair, turning frustration into art and pain into beauty. Since many of these poems are very accessible to readers who may not enjoy the genre, this could be an excellent text for introducing young people to the joys of verse. It is also an excellent text for multicultural studies and a wonderful model for helping children deal with racism and adversity in productive ways. 2003,Just Us Books, Ages 9 to 12.