White Flour, written by David LaMotte and illustrated by Jenn Hales, is a story that celebrates humor and wit over anger and hatred.
In poetic verse, LaMotte details the events of May 26th 2007 when members of the Ku Klux Klan met members of the Coup Clutz Clowns in Knoxville, Tennessee. Rather than fight anger with anger, the Coup Clutz Clowns used costumes, laughter and wit to frustrate the Ku Klux Klan members and disrupt their rally.
A word of caution: Do not be fooled by the colorful illustrations and “sing-songy” verse. This book is more appropriate for middle school students or older. Although the Coup Clutz Clowns remained united in their light-hearted and humorous demeanor, the event itself demands some very serious attention and discussion.
The story White Flour has a powerful and inspiring message that everyone needs to hear at some point in their lives; however, it is a book that still requires careful consideration and planning prior to reading. A pre-reading and post-reading discussion regarding both the history of race relations in the United States (slavery, Jim Crowe laws, Civil Rights Movement, etc.) and the lesson/moral of this story is appropriate.
Unfortunately, hate groups are not a thing of fiction; however, if students learn how to overcome and confront hatred through educated and peaceful means, then perhaps hatred will disappear one day.
For more information, feel free to take a look at the book’s website:
Review by Laura Wilczek