Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Jazz Age Poet: A story about Langston Hughes

Jazz Age Poet: A story about Langston Hughes

Vera Boyd Jones
Illustrator:  Barbara Kiwak 
For ages 8 to 10
Lerner, 2006   ISBN: 1575057573

More than anything young Langston Hughes longed for a stable and happy family life. Unfortunately it was not something that he was ever able to have because his mother never stayed anywhere for very long. Often she left Langston with his grandmother, who was not able to give Langston the kind of home he dreamed of having. When he was thirteen Langston briefly lived with a family, the Reeds, who made him feel that he had a true home. His time with the Reeds did not last long however, because his mother sent for him, and Langston had to move once again.

Langston was bright, and he loved the written word. He decided that he wanted to become a writer, a poet, and this is what he worked towards, even though both his parents were against the idea. Langston’s mother wanted her son to live with her and to get a job that would support her. His father wanted Langston to have a career that would give him a good living. Neither of Langston’s parents cared about Langston’s dreams and aspirations. Thankfully, there were other people who did believe in Langston’s writing abilities, and they helped the young poet find his voice and his audience.

This well written Creative Minds Biographies title will give young readers a clear picture of what Langston Hughes’ life was like, and they will see how he struggled to find his place in an often hostile and unfriendly world.