2013 Oregon Book Awards Finalist
Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art by J.H. Shapiro
Tyree Guyton loved his childhood home where his grandpa Sam taught him to “paint the world.” This is a true story of an artist and how his art transformed his crumbling Detroit community.
An excerpt from Magic Trash
Tyree grabbed his brush and burrowed through rubbish. He cast spells on suitcases, toilets, and a slide trombone.
Before colors dried, Grandpa Sam hurried out to help.
They painted a busted bus. They tied shoes to trees. They flung broken bikes and cast-off tires on burned-out buildings and forgotten yards. And they painted Faces of God in blue, black, and orange.
Their street sparkled.
When trouble still sizzled in one discarded home, Tyree coated it in dots and squares of pink, blue, yellow, and purple, then perched a magenta watchdog on the porch…dopey dealing thieves hustled from its view, chased away by bright paint and barking trash.
Tyree named one home Dotty Wotty and another Fun House.
Spying hungry, crying children, he dangled broken baby dolls on telephone poles and rooftops. Dolls sobbed with each puff of wind. Maybe now others would see.
Bright colors flash.
Scared dealers dash.
Bark, cry, and swing, magic trash.
About the Author
Jane H. Shapiro discovered Tyree Guyton’s art while a docent at Michigan State University’s art museum. She has been a social worker for the Department of Medicine at MSU where she began writing books for children. She now lives and writes in Portland, Oregon, and leads school tours through The Portland Art Museum.
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