Uncle Jed's Barbershop

( 4 )

Overview

Sarah Jean's Uncle Jed was the only black barber in the county. He had a kind heart and a warm smile. And he had a dream.

Living in the segregated South of the 1920's, where most people were sharecroppers. Uncle Jed had to travel all over the county to cut his customers' hair. He lived for the day when he could open his very own barbershop. But it was a long time, and many setbacks, from five-year-old Sarah Jean's emergency operation to the bank failures of the Great Depression,...

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Overview

Sarah Jean's Uncle Jed was the only black barber in the county. He had a kind heart and a warm smile. And he had a dream.

Living in the segregated South of the 1920's, where most people were sharecroppers. Uncle Jed had to travel all over the county to cut his customers' hair. He lived for the day when he could open his very own barbershop. But it was a long time, and many setbacks, from five-year-old Sarah Jean's emergency operation to the bank failures of the Great Depression, before the joyful day when Uncle Jed opened his shiny new shop — and twirled a now grown-up Sarah Jean around in the barber chair.

With James Ransome's richly colored paintings brimming with life, this is a stirring story of dreams long deferred and finally realized.

Despite serious obstacles and setbacks Sarah Jean's Uncle Jed, the only black barber in the county, pursues his dream of saving enough money to open his own barbershop.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At age 79, Uncle Jed, after a lifetime of obstacles including segregation and the Great Depression, finally realizes his dream of owning a barbershop. "Convivial descriptions of family life are enhanced by Ransome's spirited oil paintings," said PW. Ages 4-7. Jan.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Uncle Jed, a black, itinerant barber in the pre-Depression South, dreams of opening his own shop. He saves for years, but first his niece, who narrates the story, needs an operation, and then the bank in which his money is kept fails. The man's spirit never flags, however, and he finally starts his own business at age 79. Sarah Jean, whose life was saved by her uncle's generosity, is by this time a middle-aged adult, and shares in his pleasure. Mitchell's text is eloquent in its simplicity. Straightforward, declarative sentences explain such concepts as segregation and sharecropping without emotional overtones, while her subdued prose makes readers keenly aware of the injustice of segregation. Through Sarah Jean's eyes, readers see both the poverty and discrimination endured and the sense of community and caring shared by her family and friends. Ransome's richly textured oil paintings, uncluttered and direct, beautifully complement the text. These are strong characters captured with forceful brush strokes, yet the illustrations also include such details as a crocheted saddle blanket. Both touching and inspirational, this book is ideal for story hours featuring favorite relatives, and it could start children saving for their own dreams.-Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689819131
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 160,590
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. Ransome’s highly acclaimed illustrations for Knock, Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me won the 2014 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. His other award-winning titles include Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell; Deborah Hopkinson’s Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award; and Satchel Paige, written by his wife, Lesa. Mr. Ransome teaches illustration at Pratt Institute and lives in upstate New York with his family. Visit James at JamesRansome.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Historical and Life Lessons...Highly recommended

    When I first looked at the cover of this book, I thought it was just going to be about a girl, her uncle, and his barbershop. When I read the story it was so much more, it was about hardship, perseverance, dreams, segregation, the great depression, and family. This would be great for children of all ages, elementary students can learn about the different topics within this book. Even though this story is fiction, it still realistic. No matter your race/ethnicity there is a message to realize.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Pursuing Your Passion. Jedediah Johnson's tenacity will encourag

    Pursuing Your Passion.
    Jedediah Johnson's tenacity will encourage readers to pursue their passion and career goal regardless of the setbacks and obstacles. The color illustrations enhanced the enjoyment of the storyline. Each illustration offers great detail and beauty. As the storyline unfolds we, the readers, receive some insight to past history about what occurred in the U.S.A. during 1929 and the years following 1929. *Inspirational. *Educational. *Informative. *Encouraging storyline.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    Loved it!!

    When I first read this book way back in elementary school I loved it and still do I am a college sophomore now, the first day I got this book I met Margaree King Mitchell and she was so nice, she had come to our school to have a book signing and she wrote 'Never give up on your dreams'. I'm following that dream by going to college.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    Hard work and hope produce results

    Not many children's literture books are set during the Depression, but this book is. Not only does it provide important historical information, but the dedication of Uncle Jed and his pursuit of a lifelong dream is depicted. This is a wonderful book; I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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