The Washington Post

We Are America by Walter Dean Myers

We Are America: A Tribute From the Heart” by Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers. All ages. $16.99.

What does it mean be to be an American?

That was one of the questions on people’s minds right after the September 11 attacks 10 years ago.

Some people felt outraged that our country had been attacked; people flew American flags to show their patriotism.

As part of their reactions to the terrorist attacks, children’s author Walter Dean Myers and his son, artist Christopher Myers, decided to create a beautiful and moving picture book, “We Are America.”

Don’t read the words “picture book” and think that you’re too old for this. Filled with quotations from historical figures including Thomas Jefferson and Tecumseh and written in free verse, the book paints a portrait of an imperfect nation:

The land of equal opportunity

and not equal

The land of justice

and injustice

But it is clear that the father-and-son team believes that the imperfections help make the United States a country unique and strong:

From the struggle between conscience

And human frailty

Between the great hope of tomorrow

And the forever hunger of today

We have found our nation

The book is a celebration of a country of beauty, hope and dreams. The words and pictures make it a perfect book to spend time with today.

— Tracy Grant

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