This is the first of a handful of book reviews that I’ll be posting through Speakeasy; they give out free books in return for bloggers’ honest reviews of these books.
I’ve recently read the book White Flour, written by David LaMotte and illustrated by Jenn Hales. The story is a re-telling of a counter-protest by the “Coup Clutz Clowns” against a white supremacist rally in Knoxville, Tennessee in May of 2007. By means of short, rhyming verses and creatively vivid illustrations, White Flour brings the story of the rally to life with a focus on the heroes, the anti-hatred protesters.
Though the book has the appearance of a harmless children’s book, adult readers should keep in mind that the author intends this book for youth and adults, not solely children. There is much room for misunderstanding throughout the poetic book as some level of “back story” is needed to more fully appreciate the book; young children may be confused rather than encouraged by this story. Simplicity lies at the heart of this story’s beauty, but conversation around topics of hatred and racism must begin, rather than end with a story; White Flour provides a light-hearted and encouraging avenue to engage the terribly serious reality of racism and hatred that lives on even into the twenty-first century.
Inside the back cover of the book, the author has included “What Really Happened,” a segment chronicling the events as well as his rationale for some of his artistic liberties in the re-telling the story. This feature is helpful, especially for such a short story. This section also paves the way for a discussion surrounding the historical context of the rally and other protests around similar issues.
Overall, I think that White Flour accomplishes the author’s goal of providing a conversation starter with young adults about an alternative way to handle hatred and fear. This book provides space to rejoice in the small victory of the “Coup Clutz Clowns” on May 26, 2007, and a glimpse of hope to envision a world with more laughter, love, and peace.
Check out more information about White Flour here!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.