These Hands

These Hands


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Joseph’s grandpa could do almost anything with his hands. He could play the piano, throw a curveball, and tie a triple bowline knot in three seconds flat. But in the 1950s and 60s, he could not bake bread at the Wonder Bread factory. Factory bosses said white people would not want to eat bread touched by the hands of the African Americans who worked there.

In this powerful intergenerational story, Joseph learns that people joined their hands together to fight discrimination so that one day, their hands—Joseph’s hands—could do anything at all in this whole wide world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544555464
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 193,731
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

About the Author

Margaret H. Mason learned about the Detroit Wonder Bread factory’s discriminatory policies from an old friend and Bakers Union stalwart. She lives in Ferndale, Michigan.Visit her website at

The illustrator of more than sixty children’s books, Floyd Cooper is a past recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration and a four-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor Award. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family. Visit his website at

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Floyd Cooper is a four-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor.

"For all the many titles that appear on segregation and protest for younger readers, this one stands tall not just for delving into a piece of labor history not previously covered, but for its ability to relate history with heart and resonance."—Kirkus, starred review

". . . stirring pictures celebrate the historic civil rights and union protests that brought attention to the issue . . . The story’s roots in rarely told history will widen the audience for this moving title to older readers, too."—Booklist

"It's a moving study of multigenerational relationships and triumph over discrimination."—Publishers Weekly

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These Hands 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joseph¿s grandpa tells the young grandson all the things his hands used to be able to do when he was younger, including tying shoes and playing the piano and shuffling cards and throwing a baseball. Then the grandpa shares with Joseph the story of how black hands were not allowed to handle bread dough in the bread factory when the grandpa was a young man. Grandpa tells how the hands were used to write petitions and work together to change things for black people.Beautiful, touching pictures, almost like photographs.¿Look at these hands, Joseph.Did you know these hands used to pluck the ace of spades right out of thin air?Well, I can still teach a young fellow how to do a waterfall shuffle---yes, I can.¿