The Playground Queen by Casey Morris
The message of “The Playground Queen” teaches our young children the reality that they may experience some form of rejection within their peer group. It teaches them to lean on people in their community to uplift them, and lastly, it teaches the importance of forgiveness.
One of the principles of Kwanzaa is Umoja or unity, which means, to strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. Kya felt rejected by Neo, who ignored her when she returned to school. She felt alone and lost initially but was uplifted by Malik and other kids in her community. Her community empowered her to feel like she was a playground Queen, as exhibited in the strength she sees in her mother. That feeling of empowerment and confidence that Kya’s community helped Kya realize, allowed her to forgive Neo and welcome him with open arms when he recognized his mistake of not acknowledging her.