Book Corner – April 2024

Reviewed by Kristen Perry, adoptive parent and professor of literacy education

Review of Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem

Written by Amanda Gorman and illustrated by Loren Long

Author contact/link info: Website Twitter/X Instagram Facebook

Illustrator contact/link info: Website Twitter/X Instagram Facebook

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem is a wonderful illustrated children’s book by the poet Amanda Gorman, who many may remember as the poet who wrote and delivered the inaugural poem The Hill We Climb at President Biden’s inauguration. Loren Long provides rich and vivid illustrations for the book. 

Gorman’s text, written in verse, is a call to join in a movement for social change. The poem’s themes emphasize hopes, dreams, change, love, and social justice. Long’s illustrations feature a Black girl with a guitar who gathers a group of diverse children around her while working to make their community a better place. With lines like “I am the change I want to see” and “I’m the voice where freedom rings/You’re the love your bright heart brings,” along with illustrations showing cooperation, collective effort, sharing, and kindness, Change Sings emphasizes both the power of the individual and of the community to create a better world for all.

Although this book is marketed for children in the 4-8 age range, I believe older children and families could use it to spark meaningful discussions. 

Potential Discussion questions:

  • This story begins with one girl by herself, who slowly gathers a diverse group of friends in her neighborhood. Together, they do different things to make their neighborhood a better place. Can you see yourself in this story or in the pictures? Where?
  • What is a change you would like to see in our community? What could we do to help make that change happen?
  • The girl singing the song says, “I show others tolerance, though it might take some courage.” Is there a time that you showed tolerance to or stood up for someone who was different from you? What did you do? How else could you support people who are different? (Alternate questions: Is there a time when someone stood up for you? How did that feel?)


Book Recommendations for Families Created in Transracial Adoption

Kristen Perry is a TRJ parent and a professor of literacy education, specializing in family and community literacy. She and Mariama Lockington are colleagues in the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. Learn more about Mariama and connect with her on her website: