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Hands Up!

by Breanna J. McDaniel
Illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Published by Dial, 2019
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-525-55231-4

Ages 4-9

Sometimes the young Black girl at the center of this story raises one or both of her hands as a simple part of moving through the day (stretching them over her head when she wakes in the morning, holding on to her parents’ arms and swinging, raising her hand in class, reaching for a book on the high shelf). Sometimes she raises her hands in moments of exuberance and assertiveness and living out loud (lifting them high in church as she sings, reaching for the basketball in a game, celebrating a victory, holding up a sign at a march). This celebration of selfhood, family, and community has a powerful subtext, intentionally reclaiming and recasting the phrase “hands up,” so frightening for Black and brown lives when it comes to encounters with police, by affirming the girl’s right to move through and occupy the space around her—and the world itself—without question. The bright mixed-media art has abundance of yellow, amplifying the joyful feel. ©2019 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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