**The posts I write might contain affiliate links or be written in collaboration with businesses or brands. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.**
I don’t think it’s a mystery that I greatly love books.
Big ones, short ones, thin ones, fat ones, some good, some not so good and then there are little gems like Painting for Peace in Ferguson by Carol Swartout Klein. It’s a full color captivating read that grabs the heart and you better grab some Kleenex along with it. It’s the winner of the Ben Franklin Award and so very well deserving of it.
I think we all can remember the summer of 2014 when 18 year-old Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer. It dominated our national news media and was further flamed by protests, injustice by the justice system which led to further demonstrations. In all it was a bad situation that got worse by the minute. But what about the people living there? There city was completely destroyed by all of the vandalism and protests but not their spirits.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me,’Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” Fred Rogers The World According to Mister Rogers
After all of the protestors went home, all of the broken windows in the store fronts had been boarded up. It looked like a ghost town.
After months of tension, something appeared on the streets of Ferguson that hadn’t been seen there for a long time….HOPE. Painting for Peace in Ferguson is the true story of the hundreds of artists and volunteers who came out on cold winter days to paint hundreds of works of inspiring art after all of the unrest that took place in Ferguson. Though it was a difficult time for the community, these images show how the community came together to begin the healing process after months of racial and civil unrest with the simplest of tools, a paintbrush.
Written in Child-friendly verse, the actual artwork painted on hundreds of boarded up windows in Ferguson, South Grand and surrounding areas illustrates the story. The effect on the town’s landscape and its people was remarkable: turning fear into hope, frustration into inspiration, and destruction into creation.
Author Carol Swartout Klein says,”When people reach out to each other across lines that divide us and work together, remarkable things happen. Both adults and children can make a difference. A single paintbrush can paint one picture but thousands working together can transform a community.”
Please have a look inside the pages of this gorgeous book to the hope that was created in November 2014. Not only is this an incredible testament to courage and hope but a tool for both adults and children alike to start THE conversation we all need to have about race, community, and racial equity that has been felt in Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, Chicago, NYC, and many other towns and cities across the nation. Wherever we live, no matter the demographics of our communities, we need to have this conversation and I’m thankful that Carol Swartout Klein has written such an incredible tool to help us begin in such a beautiful and creative way.
The good news is that the author Carol Swartout Klein has given us a copy to give away. Please fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win this beautiful and insightful book.
Something To Do
Painting for Peace the Project
Here’s a look at the project got started and how it unfolded. This is great to see before reading the book.
Painting for Peace has a Common Core Aligned curriculum
Each curriculum has pre-reading activities, questions related to the text and illustrations,after reading and extension activities.
Resource Links: Here is an entire page of resource links which opens up research, discussion, explorations and extension activities in regards to race in our communities.
Now it’s our turn to paint for Ferguson and each other. Here are some beautiful coloring pages for us to color so that we too can make a different with the stroke of a brush or the swipe of a color crayon.
Carol also has a wonderful Painting for Peace Coloring Book (for all ages) HERE.
For more information about book and project please go to www.paintingforpeacebook.com.
**Some of these links are affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may get a very small commission.
This money goes towards postage and supplies to keep books and ideas in the hands of young readers!