Coretta Scott King Award Books: Using Great Literature with Children and Young Adults

By Claire Gatrell Stephens | Go to book overview

Chapter 16
Uncle Jed's Barbershop
Margaree King MitchellIllustrated by James Ransome1994 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award
About the Story
Narrated by Sarah Jean, Uncle Jed's Barbershop is a story about reaching for your dreams. Sarah Jean's favorite relative is her Uncle Jed. He is a kindhearted man with a goal that seems unreachable: He wants to own his own barbershop. Living in the South during the 1920s and 1930s, the family struggles to raise their crops on a small plot of land they own while most of the surrounding community sharecrops. Uncle Jed travels from place to place cutting people's hair and dreaming of the day when his customers will come to him to get their hair cut. In spite of many setbacks and hardships, he eventually achieves his dream and opens his shop. When he does, Sarah Jean (now grown) is there to celebrate with him.This is a wonderful story about not giving up. Uncle Jed is a unique hero—a simple man with a simple vision, working toward his goal in spite of life's ups and downs. He is a quiet but real hero, and in this day of fast-action superheroes, it is important for students to identify with someone real—someone like Uncle Jed.
Objectives
After reading Uncle Jed's Barbershop, the student should be able to:
1. Define the literary term main character.
2. Explain the qualities that help Uncle Jed achieve his dream.
3. Provide details of the story's plot.

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