Tar Beach

Ringgold, F. (1991). Tar beach.  New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc.

Cassie Louise Lightfoot dreams of flying above her apartment rooftop, which she calls Tar Beach,  on an endeavor to conquer her city, Harlem. Her dream stems from a lack of opportunity and social status, but Cassie soon learns that anyone can confront their dreams and fly.

Genre: Historical fiction with autobiographical elements, fantasy


Readers who will like this book: Children who live in the city, children who enjoy history, children who enjoy vibrant illustrations.

Response and rating:5; The message of social inequality that this book addresses along with its vibrant and compelling illustrations truly deserve a great rating. I think that this book, using a historical framework, connects to all children and teaches kids to have hope and faith in their future. I love that the message is not totally obvious in the book, but yet the mentions of historical monuments, like the Golden Gate, draw the story closer to reality and make it more accessible to everyone. This is one culturally diverse book that I plan to include in my classroom library.

Question: Have you ever dreamt that you were flying? Have you ever had a dream that involves your biggest wishes coming true?


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