Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar

By Sally Derby
Did you know that Paul Laurence Dunbar originated such famous lines as I know why the caged bird sings and We wear the mask that grins and lies. From his childhood in poverty and his early promise as a poet through his struggles to find acceptance as a writer and his tumultuous romance with his wife, to his immense fame and his untimely death, Dunbar's story is one of triumph and tragedy. But his legacy remains in his much-beloved poetr told in both Standard English and in dialect which continues to delight and inspire readers today. More than two dozen of Dunbar's poems are woven throughout this volume, illuminating the phases of his life and serving as examples of dialect, imagery, and tone. Narrating in a voice full of admiration and respect, Sally Derby introduces Paul Laurence Dunbar's life and poetry to readers young and old, aided by Sean Qualls's striking black-and-white illustrations. Discover the breadth and depth of Paul Laurence Dunbar's poetry and learn how it reflects his singular life as a late-nineteenth-century black man.


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As a poet, [Dunbar] used both voices to splendid effect. Derby uses her "grandma voice" equally well, evoking the spirit of Dunbar s work and humanizing the man behind his poems, many of which are integrated with the text. She is quick to acknowledge the occasional surmise, but her story has the ring of truth, nicely enhanced by Qualls expressionist drawings. Jump back, reader, here s a biography to remember. Booklist (starred review) The author is...quite respectful toward this beloved black poet. Kirkus Reviews This will be an engaging introduction to one of the lesser-known greats, especially if paired with recorded readings of his poetry to bring out its music. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Derby writes an engaging biography, oftentimes with interesting personal spins on Dunbar s life and poetry. This book is a terrific introduction, and gives the reader the opportunity to learn more about African-American history, and the struggles that African-Americans faced. School Library Connection"




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About the Hardcover

Publisher Candlewick Press (MA)
Publish date 09/22/2015
Pages 128
ISBN-13 9780763660703
ISBN-10 0763660701
Language English

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