Friday, September 14, 2018
Fact Friday: Between the Lines: how Ernie Barnes went from the football field to the art gallery by Sandra Wallace
Between the Lines: how Ernie Barnes went from the football field to the art gallery by Sandra Wallace. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. unpgd. Paula Wiseman Books/ Simon & Schuster, January, 2018. 9781481443876. (Review of purchased finished copy.)
Happy Friday TMS Readers! Our second week is in the books. I'm seeing some of you in the library asking for books. I've heard about the amazing book tastings in your LA classes. Keep it up!
Fact Friday features Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes went from the football field to the art gallery by Sandra Wallace and illustrated by the incomparable Bryan Collier. Ernie Barnes grew up poor in the segregated south in the 1940s and 50s. As a boy, he drew on anything he could get his hands on, including mud. He thrived in his art classes and wanted to be an artist. He visited an art museum on a field trip and asked the docent if there was any art made by people of color and was told, "Your people don't express themselves that way." When he hit high school, his size impressed the football coach, who asked Ernie to join the team. Ernie had no interest in sports but the coach was undeterred and visited Ernie's mother. Ernie was on the team. And he was good. Good enough to earn a college scholarship to study art. He was good in college football too. Good enough to be drafted by a professional football team - the Colts. He played but he also drew and painted. The title, Between the Lines has several meanings, don't you think?
Bryan Collier's collage art is just gorgeous. With watercolor and deep, rich colors, Collier develops a strong visual sense of who Barnes was. He also incorporated Barnes' art style. Backmatter includes notes from both the author and the illustrator as well as photos of Ernie Barnes and his art.
This well-told picture book biography is a must for most collections. I am so happy to be adding it to my sixth grade picture book biography unit.