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Uncle Jed's Barbershop (Aladdin Picture Books) [Paperback]

By Margaree King Mitchell (Author) & James E. Ransome (Illustrator)
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Item description for Uncle Jed's Barbershop (Aladdin Picture Books) by Margaree King Mitchell & James E. Ransome...

Offers the touching story of a man who spends his life struggling, saving, and sacrificing to build and own his own barbershop and who, despite the many racial difficulties that stand in his way, opens the doors of his new shop to the public at the age of seventy-nine. Reprint.

Publishers Description
Sarah Jean's Uncle Jed was the only black barber in the county. He had a kind heart and a warm smile. And he had a dream.

Living in the segregated South of the 1920's, where most people were sharecroppers. Uncle Jed had to travel all over the county to cut his customers' hair. He lived for the day when he could open his very own barbershop. But it was a long time, and many setbacks, from five-year-old Sarah Jean's emergency operation to the bank failures of the Great Depression, before the joyful day when Uncle Jed opened his shiny new shop -- and twirled a now grown-up Sarah Jean around in the barber chair.

With James Ransome's richly colored paintings brimming with life, this is a stirring story of dreams long deferred and finally realized.

Awards and Recognitions
Uncle Jed's Barbershop (Aladdin Picture Books) by Margaree King Mitchell & James E. Ransome has received the following awards and recognitions -

  • Black-Eyed Susan Award - 1995-1996 Nominee - Picture Book category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Uncle Jed's Barbershop (Aladdin Picture Books) by Margaree King Mitchell & James E. Ransome has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 1445
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 664
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/01/1998
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 957

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Aladdin
Pages   40
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 9" Height: 11.25"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1998
Publisher   Aladdin
Age  4-7
ISBN  0689819137  
ISBN13  9780689819131  
UPC  076714006997  

Availability  51 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 05:03.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About Margaree King Mitchell & James E. Ransome

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Margaree King Mitchell is the author of the Coretta Scott King Honor Book UNCLE JED'S BARBERSHOP, illustrated by James E. Ransome, and GRANDDADDY'S GIFT, illustrated by Larry Johnson. An award winning musical of the same name has been adapted from UNCLE JED'S BARBERSHOP. She is the creator of the EveryBody Has A Dream program, which empowers students in urban and rural areas to shoot for the stars with aspirations for their lives. Margaree lives in Overland Park, KS, where she is a member of the Midwest Children's Authors Guild.THE PEOPLE IN THE PARK is her first novel for teens.

Margaree King Mitchell currently resides in Houston, in the state of Texas.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Multicultural Stories > African-American
3Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8
4Books > Subjects > Children > Literature

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Reviews - What do customers think about Uncle Jed's Barbershop (Aladdin Picture Books)?

A Wonderful Read  Aug 25, 2007
Uncle Jed's barbershop is a wonderful read. It is inspiring and will catch the attention of young readers. Teachers should definitely read this one aloud to their students. It also teaches perserverance in addition to setting and meeting goals. I highly recommend this Coretta Scott King Award winning book. The author is to be commended for writing such a great children's book and the illustrator is definitely worthy of honorable mention. For he brings the words to life. A picture walk with young students or your own children is a must do with this book.
A Must Read!! Excellent!  Sep 2, 2006
This is a definite favorite of mine! Uncle Jed dreams of owning his own barbershop with four cutting stations, sinks that shine, and a sparkling floor. In the 1930's during the depression this seemed like an impossible dream for most African Americans, but Uncle Jed was determined. He worked and saved many times over. Each time he was within reach of his goal tragedy would strike and cause a set back, but Uncle Jed's dream could not be thwarted.

I suppose I love this book so much because it reminds me of my father. He is a barber and owns his own shop still to this day. I remember being little, sitting in his big twirly chair on the "high rise." My mother made him give me the dreaded "Pixxy" haircut. "I look like a boy!" I demanded. Somehow, I don't know how, my father would make it all ok. All was right with the world as he lifted me from the big red twirly chair. Once again I was smiling and happy.

You must read this book to find out if his dream came true despite his many set backs. Once you read this memorable text you will understand immediately why this children's classic won the noted Coretta Scott King Award.
Not just for children  Feb 1, 2006
I was personally encouraged and touched by Uncle Jed's story. And, as a single mom who struggled to raise four children, I know how important it is to believe in your dream. But, even so, I think of my father who is now in his seventies, and could be encouraged by Uncle Jed.

What is important about Uncle Jed is that in spite of very discouraging circumstances, circumstances that would cause others to become bitter or to make excuses for not attaining their dreams, he has faith in his dreams. That faith causes him to pick up and go on. It sustains his selflessness. I see no bitterness, no "poor me" in Uncle Jed.

Uncle Jed is a great role model, not just for children, but even for adults who have experienced a lifetime of setbacks and necessary sacrifices.

What makes this book doubly significant, is the time in history the book is written. It could be a window for children, a view of how things once were in this country and to get them to think about how these things have impact on what is now. It can, also, help them to think about how things are for others outside of their own personal environment.

I plan on buying several copies of this: not just for the kids, but for many of the adults in my family.
Uncle Jed Barbershop- - - A Must Read  Sep 27, 2004
Sarah Jean is an African-American girl from the South, living during the Great Depression. Every Saturday morning, she looks forward to seeing her favorite family member, Uncle Jed. Each Saturday, he travels from house to house throughout the community, cutting hair. One day, he wants to open his own barbershop. Sarah likes when he pretends to cut her hair by running the clippers over her neck. Sarah becomes really sick and need major surgery that will cost three hundred dollars. When Uncle Jed hears, he gives Sarah's dad the money he has been saving for his barbershop. After saving again, the bank where he has been keeping his money fails. Again, he has to start over saving for his barbershop. During this time, because many customers do not have money he cuts hair for whatever they can give him. On Uncle Jed's seventy-ninth birthday, he opens his new barbershop. People from all over the county come to celebrate the grand opening with him. Not long afterwards, Uncle Jed dies, but he accomplished his dream. The artist, James Ransome uses oil paint, which sets a sad tone of how the South looks during the Great Depression. He won the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for his work.
Uncle Jed's the man  Sep 12, 2004
Picture books featuring black characters in history come out every year. Mostly these books are either folktales or deal directly with segregation and/or slavery. "Uncle Jed's Barbershop" is a little different. In it, the characters live in the deeply segregated South of the 1930s. Rather than let this be the focus of the book, however, author Margaree King Mitchell has chosen to simply allow this to be the background to the actual story. I appreciated greatly the fact that Mitchell was such an adept writer that she could teach kids history without making that history the focal point of the text. When you add this fact to "Uncle Jed's" emotion packed storyline, you find you've a book that's not only well written and illustrated but also deeply meaningful.

Sarah Jean lives with her parents on a farm in the South. Her favorite relative, by far, is her granddaddy's brother, Uncle Jedediah. The only black barber for miles around, Uncle Jed travels from home to home giving haircuts. His dream, however, is to someday have a barbershop of his own with sinks, "so shiny they sparkled, the floor so clean you could see yourself". When little Sarah Jean gets sick and needs an operation, however, Uncle Jed readily parts with the $300 required to make her better. A few years later he saves enough money to buy the land and build a building when the Depression hits. Suddenly all his money is gone and he has to start all over again. Finally, at the grand old age of seventy-nine, his dream becomes a reality. People from all over come to him and the now adult Sarah Jean sits in a seat and lets him twirl her around in a chair. Says Sarah Jean at the end, "Uncle Jed died not long after that, and I think he died a happy man". The final shot is of the autumn leaves falling past a window. Inside, Jed sweeps the floor of the shop that he can now call his own.

Much as with his "Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt" (which this book would pair brilliantly with during a storytime), illustrator James Ransome has done a superb job. To prepare for these pictures, Ransome returned to his hometown in North Carolina, used old photographs of his grandfather's chickens, and included subtle elements that give each scene a sense reality and a flavor of its own. There's a particularly autumnal feeling to this story as well. The book begins with leaves falling and it ends with leaves falling. Using his customary oil paint on paper, even the thickest of Ransome's lines contain enough delicacy to make the pictures seem real. Uncle Jed is a great character in this pages and it's his vibrancy and stoicism that pulls the book together. Mitchell's plot is a good one too. Books with the moral of if-at-first-you-don't-succeed-try-try-again fall into two distinct camps. Either they're schmaltzy goo of the "Little Engine That Could" variety, or they speak to something deep inside of us. "Uncle Jed's" belongs to the latter category. You agonize with Jed when he loses everything in the stock market. And you're just as amazed as everyone else when he wins in the end, however briefly.

I tend to avoid books with lessons because usually the lessons learned are poorly presented. This book, however, has a lesson that I think has been given delightful packaging. With Mitchell's words and Ransome's pictures, you've got yourself a heckuva book. Definitely consider checking it out today.

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