The book White Flour, written by David LaMotte and illustrated by Jen Halles, tells the story of how a group of creative clowns stood up against a Ku Klux Klan rally in Knoxville, TN by refusing to acknowlege the Klans message of supremacy and hate. I appreciate that the book is based on actual events and demonstrates how people can stand up against injustice and hatred in a way that does not harm people and honors their humanity. But, I wonder if the target audience of illustrated books can grasp the concept it is trying to teach. I also wonder how many children outside of the South know of the Ku Klux Klan. I left the cradle of New England and went to college in Georgia , so I know that the Ku Klux Klan is alive and well, but I’m not sure that most of my fellow New Englanders (even the adults) really know that to be true (I had college classmates recall local parades where the Klan members in their town would march). So I think for elementary aged kids to really grasp what is going on here, there is some parental education that needs to go with the book. In addition, the technique of the Clowns is sophisticated and I’m not sure my 7 year olds would be able to grasp. However, I appreciate that the book is calling us to think about creative ways to stand up to hatred in this world and think it serves as a great reminder, especially for Christians, that we are called to move beyond an eye for an eye and yet we have a responsibility to find ways to make change in the world such that we progress towards what God wants for us.
On a more local note, I wonder what our equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan would be here in Portland, Maine? Where do you see hatred being spewed in our city? How can we respond in creative ways? How can we live out God’s call in the world such that we spread peace while calling out hate?
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.