Cover image for Girls together
Girls together
Williams, Sherley Anne, 1944-1999.
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace & Co., [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Four African American girls slip out of their housing project and spend a day playing together before returning home with a gift for the friend who was not able to join them.
Reading Level:
AD 580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 34600.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Five friends get together one glorious Saturday morning. They want to get away from the Projects, where their mothers will find them something to do, and away from little brothers, who spy on them. These girls could ride bikes. They could collect bottles for the recycler to get money for the movies. But they decide to go climb trees, and off they go--Hey, hey!--linking arms.

Author Notes

An award-winning fiction writer, playwright, and poet, Sherley Anne Williams (1944-1999) is best known for her widely acclaimed novel Dessa Rose . Her interest in children's literature was nurtured by story-telling sessions for her son, Malcolm, and his friends.

Working Cotton is based on poems from The Peacock Poems , a National Book Award nominee, and his her first book for children. SYNTHIA ST. JAMES wrote and illustrated The Gifts of Kwanzaa and illustrated N eeny Coming, Neeny Going by Karen English, which won a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. In her Caldecott Honor Book, Working Cotton (1992), poet Williams dramatizes a day in the harsh life of a migrant child. The setting here is a California housing project, and with a simplicity reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats' Snowy Day (1962), a girl tells of her early morning play with her older sister and their girlfriends. The child's informal voice and Saint James' joyfully colored acrylic poster art in her signature collage style will appeal to even young preschoolers, on your lap or in a group. The friends play at Hattie Jean's ("She have a room all to herself"). Lois can't join them ("so dark she look black, her face pretty as any doll's"); she has to stay home till her mother or father come home from work. To get away from ViLee's pesky little brother, the girls leave the project, link arms, and walk past vacant lots and empty buildings, until they reach a street of small individual houses, "like a picture." They climb the magnolia trees ("the petals feel like velvet against my face"), and they bring a blossom back to Lois at home. The personal vignettes, the glimpses of individual lives, the happy friendship, and the longing move beyond the preachy and the generic to tell stories kids will recognize in what is said and what is not. --Hazel RochmanReference Books Bulletin

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4Five girls spend a summer morning climbing magnolia trees and just being together. Unfortunately, the language is self-conscious and does not flow. In addition, Saint Jamess graphic, collage-like paintings do not lend the feeling of unity implied by the narrative. Because the figures are faceless, their expressions are impossible to read; emotions can be inferred only by body language. When the narrator states my cheeks dimple when I smile, no happy, dimpled cheeks are visible. The book fails to capture the essence of friendship, giving readers only cutout figures and disappointing prose. Nikki Grimess Meet Danitra Brown (Lothrop, 1994) is a better and more engaging example of friendship among young girls.Martha Link, Louisville Free Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.