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Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

"Right here, I'm sharing the honest-to-goodness." -- Loretta

"I'm gon' reach back, and tell how it all went. I'm gon' speak on it. My way." -- Roly

"I got more nerve than a bad tooth. But there's nothing bad about being bold." -- Aggie B.

Loretta, Roly, and Aggie B., members of the Little family, each present the vivid story of their young lives, spanning three generations. Their separate stories -- beginning in a cotton field in 1927 and ending at the presidential election of 1968 -- come together to create one unforgettable journey.

Through an evocative mix of fictional first-person narratives, spoken-word poems, folk myths, gospel rhythms and blues influences, Loretta Little Looks Back weaves an immersive tapestry that illuminates the dignity of sharecroppers in the rural South. Inspired by storytelling's oral tradition, stirring vignettes are presented in a series of theatrical monologues that paint a gripping, multidimensional portrait of America's struggle for civil rights as seen through the eyes of the children who lived it. The novel's unique format invites us to walk in their shoes. Each encounters an unexpected mystical gift, passed down from one family member to the next, that ignites their experience what it means to reach for freedom.

Author’s note. Note on the dramatic form. Artist’s note. Information about sharecroppers in the American South and notable figures mentioned in book, with black-and-white historical photographs. Suggestions for further reading. Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9780316536776

JLG Release: Feb 2021

Sensitive Areas: Violence: Cruelty to Animals , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Crime: Hate Crimes
Topics: Family life , African Americans , Sharecroppers , Civil rights movements , Twentieth-century history of Mississippi , Intergenerational stories

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Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

Grades 5-7

14 titles/year


Book Details



First Release

February 2021



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

6 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 5.2; Points: 6;

Scholastic Reading Counts





Print Book


Hardcover edition


Little, Brown BFYR

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Cruelty to Animals , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Crime: Hate Crimes


Family life, African Americans, Sharecroppers, Civil rights movements, Twentieth-century history of Mississippi, Intergenerational stories,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Historical Fiction

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