Jesse L. Martin's Bookshelf
By Langston Hughes
I was grabbed by how gritty and honest this book was, even though it was told from the perspective of a child. One scene reminded me of my growing up: The child's mother knows that all he wants for Christmas is a beautiful, shiny red and yellow sled. She has no money, so she has a local handyman build one out of old boards and tin for him. He's devastated, but so loves and respects his mother that he is determined to hide his disappointment. This scene of a child's bravado was one of the saddest I've ever read.