Fishing Day (Book Review)

The Jim Crow era found Black and White people living separately, with the latter feeling that they were superior.  Of course we know that thinking was incorrect and prevented Black people from progressing the way we could have (and absolutely should have) if our basic human rights were protected from day one.  Still, there is a lot to be said for how many Black people continuously believed in spreading love to others. After all, hate can be a heavy load to carry in your heart. 

Fishing Day, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Shane W. Evans, explores the experiences Reenie and her mother have when they go fishing. They go to the Jim Crow River with their secret trick sure to make all the fish nibble on their lines. However, on this particular day, Mr. Troop and his son Peter (better known as Pigeon) come along. The two families stay in their separate spots along the river, observing the Jim Crow laws that said Black and White people couldn’t interact. Pigeon starts acting out, throwing pebbles at Reenie and her mom when his dad proves unsuccessful at catching fish. 

Instead of retaliating, Reenie sets out to help Pigeon. She teaches him how to be calm and attract fish. From that day on, Reenie and Peter find ways to be friendly toward each other.  This beautiful display of kindness shows that even in the face of hatred, love can take you very far. 

For young readers 5-9 years old

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