Module 6: Pink and Say

13 07 2010

Book Cover

Summary: This is the story of a black boy and a white boy fighting for the Union army during the Civil War. Pink finds Say wounded and left for dead from a battle and both boys make their way to Pink’s home to recover under the care of his mom. However all their lives are put in danger when marauding Confederates come to the house.

Citation: Polacco, Patricia. (1994) Pink and Say. New York: Philomel Books

My Impressions: I love the way the book was told, not just as a story, but as family history as told by the main character’s great-great-grandaughter. The pictures are vivid and bold, as the wounded boys travel the entire ground is red with bits of grass, as though the land itself is bleeding. The story itself is very moving and both characters are realistic.


“The figure of Pink’s mother borders on the sentimental, but the boys’ relationship is beautifully drawn. Throughout the story there are heartbreaking images of people torn from a loving embrace. Pictures on the title and copyright pages show the parallel partings as each boy leaves his family to go to war.” –Hazel Rochman, Booklist Online review excerpt

“Say, 15, had never seen a black person up close until Pink, also a young Union soldier, saves his life. During his brief stay in Pink’s home, the wounded boy comes to understand his friend’s unconquerable vision of freedom. A memorable family reminiscence with evocative paintings.” —School Library Journal review

Library Use Suggestion: This would be a great book to teach children a little bit about the Civil War. It could even be of use to older children, to help them gain perspective on what the war meant for people. Children could discuss what they think the war meant to people on both sides and why those people were willing to die for what they believed in.