This We Pray|Sea of People
Gyroscope Books (2020)
Reviewed by Lili (age 15) for Reader Views Kids (10/2020)
“This We Pray / Sea of People” by W. Nikola-Lisa is a tiny black and white picture book with a big colorful message. Its content, only two poems and pictures of young faces from multiple races. It is short and simple, but its effect in my brain has been long and deep. The author is sharing how the two opposite sides of the way our social reality can change. These sides are prayer and action. The first poem is the prayer, the second reflects action.
I agree with W. Nikola-Lisa that protesting and praying for change must go together so that people stay focused on the outcome and don’t get lost in the emotions that are the driving force for their protesting. I liked how the powerful message of social equality and justice is presented in such simple way, because not only my attention as the reader was not distracted by the importance of the subject, but also reflected the simplicity of the problem…like black and white, the problem of violence and injustice is there evident and clear for all to see…there is no disguising it.
The combination of all the different faces with the first poem and the pictures of different young people marching with the second…al in black and white gave the words a deeper dimension as I could see each face and imagine myself with them marching. It helped me see inside me and reflect how I feel about what is happening.
Overall, “This We Pray / Sea of People” by W. Nikola-Lisa I give this tiny book five stars, for its message, for the presentation, and for the courage to expose a horrible reality without dressing it up. I am glad I read this book and recommend to everyone, especially in the US.