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Tobe: A Critical Edition: New Views on a Children's Classic

Tobe: A Critical Edition: New Views on a Children's Classic


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on October 14, 2019


When UNC Press published Stella Gentry Sharpe's Tobe in 1939, it was hailed as one of the first children's books to offer a dignified portrayal of an African American child and his family. Today, the power of Tobe lies as much in the questions it raises: Whose story gets told? Who gets to tell it? How do stories shape how we see ourselves and each other?

This volume reproduces the original volume's text and images, places the book in the context of its time, and offers thought-provoking ways to read Tobe with fresh eyes. Benjamin Filene explores the book as a story told in words, as a world constructed through photographs, as a chapter in the history of juvenile literature, and (through interviews with the people photographed and their descendants) as a window into community memory. Encouraging close readings and second looks, Filene presents a project kit for exploring a historical text, yielding surprising insights. This new edition of a children's classic opens up questions of race, voice, and power in ways that encourage fruitful conversation and resist easy answers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469654171
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/14/2019
Edition description: Critical
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Benjamin Filene is chief curator at the North Carolina Museum of History. He is author of Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music and coeditor of Letting Go? Historical Authority in a User-Generated World.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Filene is juggling important questions about race and representation, and he succeeds in opening up our understanding of the stakes of Tobe for children's literature, representations of the South, and African American communities. This new edition makes a strong contribution and brings a forgotten classic back to life.—Katharine Capshaw, University of Connecticut