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Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

by Jen Bryant

Narrated by David Sadzin

Unabridged — 52 minutes

Jen Bryant
Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

by Jen Bryant

Narrated by David Sadzin

Unabridged — 52 minutes

Jen Bryant

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Overview

August Wilson (1945-2005) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who had a particular talent for capturing the authentic everyday voice of Black Americans. As a child, he read off soup cans and cereal boxes, and when his mother brought him to the library, his whole world opened up. After facing intense prejudice at school from both students and some teachers, August dropped out. However, he continued reading and educating himself independently. He felt that if he could read about it, then he could teach himself anything and accomplish anything. Like many of his plays, Feed Your Mind is told in two acts, revealing how Wilson grew up to be one of the most influential American playwrights.



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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Nina Crews

…Jen Bryant's beautiful, informative text is worth reading slowly…It is also worth lingering over Cannaday Chapman's splendid mixed-media illustrations. They are a nice combination of interior and exterior moments and get to the emotional heart of Bryant's poems.

From the Publisher

**STARRED REVIEW**
"Chapman’s mixed-media illustrations are sophisticated and engrossing, packed with visual metaphors... Reading aloud for pure pleasure would be a meaningful tribute to Wilson’s legacy." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

**STARRED REVIEW**
"Wilson’s passion for words and attention to the world around him emerge in Bryant’s lyrical telling."

Publishers Weekly

**STARRED REVIEW**
"Bryant’s poetic descriptions effectively chronicle Wilson’s artistic journey. . . This empathetic and informative study of August Wilson’s early years explores the complexities of the black experience in America. A book that will resonate not only with bookworms and fans of the playwright but with black children wishing to see themselves reflected in the world around them."—School Library Journal

"An eloquent love letter to literature and a celebration of its power to inspire, to instruct, and to provide hope, guidance, and direction." —Kirkus Reviews

"Elegant picture-book biography. . . drawing readers into the world of this powerhouse dramatist."—Horn Book Magazine

Horn Book Magazine

"Elegant picture-book biography. . . drawing readers into the world of this powerhouse dramatist."

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

**STARRED REVIEW**
"Chapman’s mixed-media illustrations are sophisticated and engrossing, packed with visual metaphors... Reading aloud for pure pleasure would be a meaningful tribute to Wilson’s legacy."

SLJ Review


**STARRED REVIEW**

"Bryant’s poetic descriptions effectively chronicle Wilson’s artistic journey. . . This empathetic and informative study of August Wilson’s early years explores the complexities of the black experience in America. A book that will resonate not only with bookworms and fans of the playwright but with black children wishing to see themselves reflected in the world around them."

School Library Journal

★ 11/01/2019

Gr 1–4—Growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s with his sisters and his mother, Daisy, August Wilson found refuge in books. Daisy Wilson stressed that knowledge could be a tool of liberation: "If you can read, you can do anything—you can be anything." Wilson's passion for words grew after he obtained his first library card. As the years passed, he devoured anything he could get his hands on, especially the works of Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Ralph Ellison, and Richard Wright. While Wilson loved to learn, virulent racism forced him to drop out of high school. Nevertheless, his mother's wisdom echoed in his mind. The acceptance of Jitney by the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis turned the poet into a published playwright. Bryant's text forms a clear and striking portrait of the Pulitzer Prize winner. Bryant's poetic descriptions effectively chronicle Wilson's artistic journey. Chapman's illustrations, created using ink, colored pencil, acrylic paint, and cut paper, bring the narrative to life. Characters feel as though they've been captured in mid-dialogue. Some educators and parents may balk at the usage of the N-word at the beginning of the book, but others may recognize it as an opportunity to teach children about our country's legacy of racism and anti-blackness. VERDICT This empathetic and informative study of August Wilson's early years explores the complexities of the black experience in America. A book that will resonate not only with bookworms and fans of the playwright but with black children wishing to see themselves reflected in the world around them.—Vanessa Willoughby, School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

2019-09-29
One of America's greatest modern playwrights is introduced to generations of younger readers in this lyrical picture book.

August Wilson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning African American dramatist, is best known for his 10-play Century Cycle, which chronicles the African American experience through different decades in the 20th century. Because his work is targeted toward adults, many young readers might be unfamiliar with Wilson's life or achievements. Thanks to this timely and elegant picture book, that oversight is now corrected. Conceptually separated into two acts, the book frames Wilson's life as a play in free-verse form, immersing readers in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, a multiracial enclave where Frederick August Kittel Jr. is raised by his hardworking single mother. Act 1 chronicles Wilson's search for his name and voice, and Act 2 showcases his extraordinary life's work of using them to bring the African American experience to the stage. The book's primary goal may be to present Wilson's life, but it is also an eloquent love letter to literature and a celebration of its power to inspire, to instruct, and to provide hope, guidance, and direction. Bryant's accomplished free verse and newcomer Chapman's evocative, realistic illustrations operate in perfect synergy, celebrating the genius of Wilson the playwright while never losing sight of the complications, hardships, and imperfections of Wilson the man.

A must-have for those who want children to learn about one of the stage's greatest bards. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177715902
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: 04/06/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews