A noteworthy review of Scrapbooks of America from Library Media Connection on May 1, 2004
Historical fiction buffs will love this series. This is a first person narrative of what life was like in Harlem during the age of the Harlem Renaissance, primarily the 1920s. Simon Brocade, AKA Shaky Bones, is the young narrator. He is interested in writing poetry, and he envisions the library as the temple of knowledge. This use of words endeared me to the narrator. He does an excellent job of describing how life was then, how things felt, and how wonderful it was to meet all the talented people of the time. Harlem was thrilling and full of life and he makes the reader feel and hear the music and rhythm of the times. The scrapbook format includes photos and notes with interesting facts, which makes for a nice blend of fiction and history. Also included are a glossary, timeline, activities, places to find out more, and places to visit. Students who are not quite ready to make the leap to reading nonfiction will find this series most enjoyable. The characters are delightfully real and make the history of the time truly come alive. Teachers and media specialist will like the series because the books make wonderful curriculum connections.