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Book Review: The Yellow Hummer by Ivet Graham-Morgan

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A four-year-old boy named Jordan went to the company Christmas party with his mom. He was excited at the prospect and he was not at all disappointed once the party had begun. There were many children there, who all played together and had great fun.

The big moment, though, was when Santa arrived and gave every child a gift. Jordan’s gift was a bright Yellow Hummer with a wired remote control. He could barely wait to get it home and play with it.

Jordan lived with his mother and grandmother. When he got home, he unwrapped his present completely, but needed help getting it free from the packaging. Luckily Grandma had a pair of scissors and popped the car right out. However, when she got to the last twist tie that was holding the remote control in place, she accidentally cut the wire for the remote — now where did she leave her glasses?

Jordan took his ruined car — the best gift he’d ever gotten — to his room where he cried himself to sleep. Grandma had apologized and promised to get him a new one, but he was upset.

When Jordan awoke from his nap, he picked up his yellow Hummer and looked at it for a long time, then went searching for Grandma. Uh-oh, Grandma, you’re in big trouble now! Jordan saw Granny sitting by the fire and he rushed to her, climbed onto her lap, and she held and rocked him.

The little boy then told his grandmother that the car was okay, he could still play with it. “…Grandma realized that Jordan had forgiven her. Jordan had discovered that his grandmother was more important than the gift he loved so much. Grandma was very proud of him.”

The message of this story, people are more important than things, is a fine one. However, Graham-Morgan rushes the moral in order to end the story.

I am happy to see a story about a child whose family consists of him, his mother, and grandmother; all types of families need to be acknowledged. I was disappointed that Jordan’s realization of what is important was not explored. For the story to be effective, the reader should be given a little more insight into Jordan’s feelings and how he arrived at his conclusion.

I expected that Jordan’s mother would discuss values with him when she accompanied him to his room after Grandma’s scissors slipped. Instead, Jordan takes a nap, wakes up, and everything’s fine. We know he stared at the toy, but we’re not given any indication of what he was thinking. I also expected that Jordan and Grandma might have a bit of conversation regarding the incident and their feelings.

The Yellow Hummer makes it the reader’s responsibility to discuss its message, but leaves out the necessary groundwork. Essentially, the story is “a little boy was happy, then sad, then happy.” Readers need to know why he felt these emotions, and how he resolved any negative feelings he might have had (Was he angry at Grandma? Disappointed? Heartbroken?). The Yellow Hummer is a story half-told.

Bottom Line: Would I buy The Yellow Hummer? No.

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