Review of Stamped (for Kids), by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul


(For Kids)

Racism, Antiracism, and You

by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul
read by Pe’Tehn Raighn-Kem Jackson

Hachette Audio, 2021. 2 hours, 22 minutes on 2 CDs.
Review written April 13, 2022, from a library audiobook
Starred Review

This is now the third iteration of this book, and the third I’ve read or listened to. First, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi wrote a big and long and scholarly book for adults called Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Then Jason Reynolds “remixed” that content into a book for teens, called Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. That was the first version I listened to. It was accessible and easy to understand, but had some powerful and thought-provoking content.

Now they’ve gone another step, and Sonja Cherry-Paul has adapted the content from Jason Reynolds’ book into an even shorter version that is easy for kids to understand. I like the kid narrator who reads the audiobook, making it feel like a kid talking with his friends.

I was happy to refresh my memory of these ideas. The authors give the history of racist ideas in America. They explain segregationalists, who believe Black people are inferior, assimilationists, who believe Black people can be good people if they work at it, and antiracists who believe that Black people are human and valuable and just as worthy as anyone else.

I also appreciate the explanation that most people aren’t just one thing all the time. They explain why ideas like the “Talented Tenth” are assimilationist, even when those putting forward the ideas are trying to be helpful. Even in this short and simple adaptation, we’ve got complex concepts clearly explained.

And make no mistake about it — this is a book about fairness and caring and seeing past discrimination. Kids who listen to this audiobook or read this book will be able to spot policies that treat any one class of people as inferior to others. Here’s to a new generation of antiracists!

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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