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Tar Beach By Faith Ringgold

Tar Beach By Faith Ringgold is an interesting book that tells a story that helps children enhance their imagination. The piece of art in the book is not patterned and, therefore, does not look real but manages to express a strong feeling of freedom. The setting of the book is during a period when racism was rampant, and African Americans were discriminated particularly during the period of depression. Despite these challenges, the author, through the character of Cassie, who was an African American, manages to fly, defying the odds that even African Americans could be able to achieve such a feat. The book tries to explain through guilt that pursuing one’s dreams will one day come true.

The book is fictional, which makes it difficult for children to believe and trust the author’s ideas. The various pieces of art used do not link to the present Harlem, New York City, and George Washington Bridge. In reading the book, instructors need to go the extra mile to provide the much-needed information to improve the understanding of the book (Ringgold 1991). Children need to have a background understanding of the story to internalize concepts and better their imagination in creative work.

The book was authored to highlight the plight of African Americans by portraying them as people with unique abilities. The choice of art makes it hard to understand the theme and opens doors for further analysis, which could be misleading (Ringgold 1991). The author should have been specific in telling the story and used an objective approach that could make it easy for children to understand. Since the primary audience of the book is children, the author failed to consider the intellectual abilities of this group of audience.


Ringgold, F. (1991). Tar Beach (Vol. 81). Knopf Books for Young Readers.



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