Tar Beach

By Faith Ringgold
Published by Crown Publishers, 1991

Cassie Louise Lightfoot lies on a mattress on her tar beach on the apartment building roof in New York City. In her imagination, she flies over the city and imagines how she could rescue her family from racism and unfair treatment. She imagines how the George Washington Bridge is hers, and how she would buy the Union Building, (which her father built, but ironically, could not be a part of), and an ice cream factory. She dreams her family successful and easy compared to the reality of the hard, dangerous work her father does.

This Caldecott-winning book is a really neat book to use for discussing African-American history, because in addition to the civil rights issues that are present in the book, the author originally had created the story on a story quilt. The last page of the book outlines the heritage from which her quilt comes from, and the quilting is reflected throughout the book.

Accessed: Augusta County Library


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