Cover image for Sister Anne's hands
Title:
Sister Anne's hands
Author:
Lorbiecki, Marybeth.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) ; color illustrations ; 28 cm
Summary:
Seven-year-old Anna has her first encounter with racism in the 1960s when an African American nun comes to teach at her parochial school.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.0 0.5 26924.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 20090 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780803720381

9780803720398
Format :
Book

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Eden Library PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Lake Shore Library PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Lancaster Library PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Lancaster Library PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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Orchard Park Library PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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On Order

Summary

Summary

From the first day of second grade, Sister Anne lights up Anna's classroom. But it's the early 60s and not everyone in Anna's small town is ready to accept Sister. How she deals with this and the profound impact she has on her students is at the heart of a touching, timeless tale about the virtue of tolerance and how a teacher can change a child's life.Marybeth Lorbiecki's universal story -- based on a childhood experience -- is both funny and poignant. Her spare, accessible text, alongside Wendy Popp's sun-drenched pastels, is a moving journey for those who remember the 60s and those who don't.Marybeth Lorbiecki also wrote two other books for Dial, Just One Flick of a Finger, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and My Palace of Leaves in Sarajevo. K. Wendy Popp illustrated two previous picture books. Reviewers have said her work is "fabulous" (USA Today), with "an other-worldly quality" (Booklist).Marybeth Lorbiecki lives in Hudson, Wisconsin.K. Wendy Popp lives in Larchmont, New York.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. When Sister Anne comes to teach in a small-town parochial school in the 1960s, she brings fun and spirit to Anna Zabrocky's second-grade classroom, but Sister Anne is black ("Her skin was darker than any person's I'd ever known"), and her presence makes Anna confront racism, in her community and in herself. Sister Anne says that Anna's freckles show she has been kissed by angels, and the nun reaches out to touch Anna's cheek, but the white child dodges the brown hand "as if it were hot." Then someone sends a hate note to Sister Anne's classroom, and she teaches the children about segregation and persecution, about "Whites Only" barriers and the struggle for civil rights. Anna cannot forget how she moved away when Sister Anne's hand reached out to her, but the affecting pastel pictures show how she and the other children bond closely with their great teacher as they laugh, learn, write, paint, and garden through the school year. There is an idyllic quality to the story and the period pictures of the perfect nun and her classroom, but the hurt is there, too, and the message of tolerance grows out of the personal experience, which confronts the racism and gets beyond it. (Reviewed October 1, 1998)0803720386Hazel Rochman


Publisher's Weekly Review

An African American nun challenges the beliefs of her second-grade students in this thought-provoking picture book set in the 1960s. When Sister Anne joins the faculty at the local Catholic school, Anna overhears her father whisper, "I don't know how a woman of her color is going to survive," and Anna wonders what she'll be like. On the first day of class, Sister Anne demonstrates her fun and unusual approaches to counting and storytelling. But the good times are brought to a halt when a note about Sister Anne's skin color lands on her desk. The teacher tells the class that she needs "some quiet time to think about this," and next day she finds a way to educate the children about racism. Lorbiecki (Just One Flick of a Finger) brings ever-relevant social issues into sharp focus through Anna's heartfelt, intimate narration. While the '60s setting is evident in Popp's (Princess Florecita and the Iron Shoes) historically accurate, gauzy pastels, the text's subtle tone and universal message are far-reaching and accessible to contemporary readers. And the warm, softly lit portraits of students at rapt attention as they listen to the serene Sister Anne add to this book's considerable emotional appeal. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-A gifted and unique African-American teacher is just a little too unique for some of the students and parents in a parochial school in the 1960s. Seven-year-old Anna doesn't understand why her parents are concerned about the problems Sister Anne's color might cause until a paper airplane sails through the classroom with a poem on its wings. The teacher reads the poem aloud: "Roses are red,/Violets are blue./Don't let Sister Anne/get any black on you." Embracing the moment, the woman teaches her students about her heritage. Although a few children are pulled out of the class by their parents, those who stay have an unforgettable year. Based on the author's experience, the story has honesty and integrity and the two main characters are well crafted. The velvety pastel illustrations have the soft focus and pale palette of a distant memory coupled with exquisite detail. Popp's realistic renderings capture the period and are a perfect complement to a thoughtful text. Though ideally suited to introductory units on civil rights, there are many groups and individuals ready to share this gentle reminder.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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