Half-Caste is a mixture of old and new poems that address core issues and experiences for young people. Race and cultural identity is a primary theme and shapes the book. There are poems about violence, the environment, relationships, politics, and grief, alongside poems full of fun, looking at everyday events from quirky, unexpected points of view. It's an accessible and inspiring book by a poet who knows and respects his audience.
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John Agard was born in Guyana and emigrated to Britain in 1977. He has worked as an actor and a performer with a jazz group and spent several years with the Commonwealth Institute, travelling all over Britain giving talks, performances and workshops. He has visited literally thousands of schools. His poem 'Half-caste' is on the AQA Englsih GCSE syllabus, and every year he tours the country performing with other top poets for GCSE students. His children's poetry includes WE ANIMALS WOULD LIKE A WORD WITH YOU, POINTS OF VIEW WITH PROFESSOR PEEKABOO, LAUGHTER IS AN EGG, and COME BACK TO ME MY BOOMERANG. He lives in Sussex and is married to Grace Nichols, herself a respected Caribbean poet. They have a daughter.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up–In the United States, readers primarily know the author through his collections of Caribbean children's poetry. This slender volume represents a fine introduction to the Guyana-born poet's work for older readers. One of his primary themes is race, as addressed in: And All Was Good, Skin, and Half-caste. In this powerful plea for tolerance, he insists that readers re-examine their own stereotypes and then, …yu must come back tomorrow/wid de whole of yu eye/an de whole of yu ear/an de whole of yu mind/an I will tell yu/de other half/of my story. He also focuses on the immigrant experience with Checking Out Me History, a different kind of unrequited love in Smoke-Loving Girl Blues, and the simple yet profound Salt and Coal. By turns playful and sincere, buoyant and thoughtful, his humanism is the thread that runs throughout these selections and reaches out to readers of all backgrounds. In Windrush Child, an homage to immigrants who came to England from the Caribbean, Agard eloquently voices a universal concern as he describes stepping in a big ship/not knowing how long the journey/or that you're stepping into history. –Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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Book Description Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 034092585X UK BASED SELLER SHIPS DAILY, this edition was printed in 2011. Bookseller Inventory # J0075326
Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR004727221