Exquisite, The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
This beautiful hardcover book written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera tells the brave and inspiring story of a young girl named Gwendolyn Brooks. Gwendolyn grew up in the city of Chicago and her family had very little money. Although they struggled financially, they took great pride in their bookcase of poems. Gwendolyn’s father read these poems out loud every night to his family, which instilled a love of reading and words for Gwendolyn.
At the early age of seven, Gwendolyn began writing her own poems. At age eleven, she mailed four prized poems to a newspaper. Her poem was accepted and published! She continued to write and submit poems but due to the Great Depression and lack of funds, her poems were often rejected. She never let this get her down though and continued to write. As she grew older, her passion for writing only intensified until one day her poems were accepted for publication! Once she was discovered by a publisher, the demand for her writing only increased until finally she won the most prestigious award, the Pulitzer Prize!
Exquisite, The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks is an extraordinary book and story that has many valuable lessons about growth mindset, family valuables and opportunities for vocabulary and language stimulation. When reading this book aloud to your child, emphasize specific words and define them.
For example, stay with the word “poem”. What is a poem? What are the different types of poems? Read the poem that is included in the book titled Clouds. Discuss the emotion and words of the poem. How does it make you feel?
As you read the book, talk about Gwendolyn’s emotions. How does she feel when she is first published? How about when she is in school and feels like she doesn’t fit in? I love how the growth mindset is naturally embedded into this story. Gwendolyn never gives up and continues to follow her heart and passion with writing. I find this story inspiring and a beautiful tribute to this accomplished woman.
Are you looking for additional educational resources? Check out Suzanne’s site for more resources including behind the scenes, book research and much more!
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About Gwendolyn Brooks
With the book, there is an authors note that goes into more detail about Gwendolyn Brooks as well as a timeline. Although it has been twenty years since her death in 2000, her work lives on and continues to inspire others to never give up and follow their passion.