My People

By Langston Hughes; Charles R. Smith, Jr. (Illustrator)
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781416935407, 40pp.)

Publication Date: January 2009

List Price: $17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Spring '09 Kids List
“How would you illustrate this timeless poem? Charles Smith, Jr. answers this question with a series of photographs that will make you smile. This book is a great selection for teachers and would be a perfect lesson plan feature for discussions of poetry writing and imagery.”
-- Angela K Sherrill, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL


Description

Langston Hughes's spare yet eloquent tribue to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Charles R. Smith Jr. interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.




About the Author
Born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902, the O Henry of Harlem, moved all over the country and settled eventually in New York City. He was a prolific writer, best known for his novels, plays and columns and one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry.

Charles R. Smith Jr. says that while growing up in California, he read anything he could get his hands on. "Reading books filled with stories and poems inspired me to write my own," he says. "The more I read, the more I wrote. And if I wasn't reading a book, I was playing a sport: I played everything, particularly basketball, and spent many afternoons on the court, perfecting my jump shot." While working on his high school yearbook as a writer, Charles R. Smith Jr. was introduced to photography and immediately decided to make a career out of it. He graduated from photography school and headed to New York to pursue his dream. "I continued with my writing, and, with a heavy influence of rap music,
began writing more poetry instead of stories," he says. "Now, I have combined my photographic skills with my love of reading, writing, and sports to create an exciting career for myself!" Among the books the poet-photographer has written and illustrated is RIMSHOTS: BASKETBALL PIX, ROLLS, AND RHYTHMS, which was selected as an American Library Association Notable Children's Book.
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