Infinite Hope [hc]
A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace
By Ashley Bryan
From this celebrated author and illustrator comes a deeply moving picture book memoir about serving in the segregated army during World War II, and how love and the pursuit of art sustained him.
In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army.
He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness- including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers… but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought.
For the next forty years, Ashley would keep his time in the war a secret. But now, he tells his story. The story of the kind people who supported him. The story of the bright moments that guided him through the dark. And the story of his passion for art that would save him time and time again. 112 pages
"So many unique yet universal aspects of the human experience are touched upon in this lovingly shared memoir: the passion that kept an artist going through the most difficult times, the contradictions of war against Nazism with segregation at home and within the U.S. Army. Watching Bryan generously transform the bittersweet into beauty is watching the meaning of art." -Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review (Ages 10-Adult)
October 15, 2019
AR Level=6.6; Lexile Level=990