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An African American mother has “big, bright dreams” for her newborn son, Omari. As she cradles him in her arms, she promises to hold his hand when he learns to walk, crosses the street, and goes to school. However, she says, she won’t always be able to do so once he’s older. Then she’ll continue to hold him in her heart and pray that God will hold him in his hands.

Fearing that Omari will face discrimination, she prays “that the world sees you as a child of God; and, as you cast a longer shadow, that you will be viewed as a vessel to be steered rather than a figure to be feared.”

Omari’s mother also prays that he will be offered forgiveness for his mistakes, be given second chances, and be blessed with courage and conviction when he faces injustice.

In Your Hands is a timely children’s picture book as it subtly deals with racial discrimination prevalent in so many places in the world today. Though it offers the tender, prayerful musings of an African American mother, it captures the hopes and dreams of every mother who wants her child to know God, to love others, to be treated justly, and to know how to respond in a godly way to injustice.

Brian Pinkney’s swirling, energetic illustrations capture the vitality and hope in author Carole Boston Weatherford’s moving narrative. Ages 4 and up. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

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