A Poem for Peter is a celebration for the creation of a child of color as a
main character in children’s books by a white Jewish author named Ezra
(Jack) Keats. Ezra and his family suffered many hardships in their lives,
discrimination and poverty. Ezra fought discrimination by entering WWII,
and then creating a child of color, named Peter, in a series of books.
All young children are familiar with Peter from first grade on…What they are
not familiar with is the author’s story, a story that needs to be told.
My packet includes reading comprehension strategies and critical thinking.
It also includes an historical perspective, Ezra’s childhood through his
adulthood. It is my hope that students begin to understand that
discrimination is unacceptable in the world. Students need to strive for
peace and acceptance in the present.