Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-01 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

"Some people demonstrate a talent early in their lives for what will become their life's work, though it's rarely a straight path. For too many the trail is fraught with major obstructions, obstructions sometimes decades in the making. Whether it's of their own choosing or not, a detour is offered and taken.

In fact, this detour seems to be in direct opposition to the earlier displayed ability. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery (A Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, January 28, 2018) written by Sandra Neil Wallace with illustrations by Bryan Collier (Hey Black Child Little, Brown And Company, November 14, 2017) describes the remarkable story of a childhood longing realized through perseverance. If you hold onto a dream with both hands, you'll have a better chance of making it come true. This is what Ernie Barnes did.

My full recommendation:
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" Watercolor and collage illustration help bring to life the story of Ernie Barnes, the reluctant football player who never gave up on his dream of pursuing art. Really wonderful story with broad appeal to many audiences. " said.

" Another fantastic biography of a person of color I've never heard of. Keep 'em coming! Let's rewrite history! The intersection of football and art makes this a good candidate to expand the horizons of boys who only want to read about sports! " said.

" This is a great picture book biography about Ernie Barnes - an artist at heart, turned professional football player who later followed his artistic dreams. His artwork hangs in museums throughout the country and his famous painting Sugar Shack is best known from the television show Good Times and also from Marvin Gaye's album. " said.

" This is a wondrous story about a quiet artistic boy whose passion was drawing, yet he had a natural talent for football. His life evolved in a storybook switch from playing football professionally to survive, to becoming the official artist for the American Football League. The watercolor and collage illustrations are as glorious as the biography. " said.

"I really enjoyed this book. I liked the pacing of how the author told Barnes's story. I learned so much. I had seen Barnes's work before but did not know the story of the artist; it is incredibly inspirational! And I think Collier made the absolute right choice not to try to make the art in the book look like the artist's. Barnes's style needs no explanation or adaptation. I had to immediately get online and look up the works mentioned but not pictured in the book. To me, this means the book does its job amazingly well. Please check this one out!" said.

" I was unfamiliar with this story, even though I knew his most famous painting, Sugar Shack, and you probably do, too. Give to any kid with artistic aspirations, especially one who's been taught that sports and art are mutually exclusive, or that creating art is only for some people and not others. - Becky, Collection DevelopmentReserve a library copy. " said.

"How a black boy grew up in the segregated south and became an artist (at first supporting himself by playing pro football).

A story of grit and determination and self-knowledge and talent and courage.

This part early on is just heart breaking:

Ernest searched for paintings of people like him. He didn't see any. He had to find the wors to ask the tour guide an important question. Ernest moved closer, gathering the words in his head. "Where are the paintings by Negro artists?" he asked.

Surprised by Ernest's question, the tour guide paused. "Your people don't express themselves in that way," she said.
" said.

July 2018 New Book:

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