This post is in partnership with Hear Our Voices Book Tours. Thank you so much to them and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing me with a gorgeous finished copy. All opinions are my own.
Loretta Little Looks Back is a Middle Grade Historical Fiction monologue novel by Andrea Davis Pinkney that spans three generations of the Little family, a Black sharecropping family living in the South. We follow this family, starting with Loretta Little, on their decades-long journey to the right fo vote in the United States, being shared memories of each of the three family members during their adolescences and the formative events of their youth.
The book is considered a ‘monologue novel,’ where the form is very much a dramatic style. Because of this, I was easily able to envision the different moments throughout the book. It’s an interesting way to tell a generational story that definitely felt like a passage of time was happening as we went from family member to family member. As both a thespian and a writer (and even a reader), I can always appreciate when theatrical stylistic choices are made within a book and add to the intentionality of the novel. There were several times throughout this novel where I thought to myself ‘wow, directing this would be awesome,’ and that rarely ever happens to me.
Along with this, the writing was beautiful but still accessible for the target audience. There were quite a few moments where lyrical and poetic. These moments stood as bridge passages welcoming us into a new person’s narrative or bidding us farewell. I found myself rereading certain passages to better absorb and appreciate the information.
I gave Loretta Little Looks Back 4/5 stars and will definitely be picking up more by this author in the future. The book is out now, and I highly recommend it for those looking for an informative generational tale about Black sharecroppers for either themselves or the little kid in their life.
See ya next time!