The Last Stand

Written by Antwan Eady, Illustrated by Jarrett & Jerome Pumphrey

This intergenerational picture book is a love letter to Black farmers, particularly to those in Garnett, South Carolina.

A boy and his grandfather have the last stand at a farmer’s market in a community that can’t afford to lose it. As the boy explains in an earnest tone, Saturdays begin with Papa harvesting peppers, plums, and pumpkins, while the boy collects the eggs. Always a step behind, the boy helps to place produce into sweetgrass baskets, load the baskets into a blue pickup, and fulfill each customer’s order at the stand. The boy’s pride and awe at his grandfather’s life work is evident at every turn: “Papa’s hands are black and wrinkled. And each wrinkle tells me a story.” But when Papa falls ill, the boy must come up with creative ways of carrying on in his grandfather’s absence, from getting the produce to the stand to delivering Mrs. Brown’s plums directly to her door. When he does, the rewards are extra sweet.

The lovely illustrations add the finishing touch to an extra sweet ending. I love a picture book that shows family and community bonds with a bit of history mixed in. There is an author’s note explaining the history behind this book. It would be a great read aloud in a classroom that is learning American history and farming.

Reviewed by Kristen Hunt, Librarian, Whittier Elementary School
Review shared in March 2024
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades K-5

The Last Stand
Written by Antwan Eady, Illustrated by Jarrett & Jerome Pumphrey
Alfred A. Knopf
40 pages
Release Date: January 30, 2024
ISBN: 9780593480571
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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