Captures the excitement of space travel while creating a warm portrait of an innovative explorer.

FLY HIGH, JOHN GLENN

THE STORY OF AN AMERICAN HERO

What makes a hero?

This lively and informative selection presents a thorough overview of Glenn’s life: his childhood; attempts to learn to fly; support from his wife, Annie, who herself dealt with stuttering and became a speech pathologist; the thousands of flying hours he clocked; military service during World War II; life as an astronaut; subsequent political career; and flight at age 77 as the oldest man to fly in space. With all this, Krull focuses on his accomplishments as an astronaut, in particular on his Project Mercury mission on the Friendship 7, when he became the first American to orbit the Earth during the United States' space race with the former Soviet Union. The energetic text thoroughly describes Glenn’s experiences while flying while realistic, sweeping oils offer a sense of space and capture some of the bliss Glenn must have experienced. Tales of his less-than-successful endeavors (his failed presidential bid, for example) are not mentioned, which seems a lost opportunity to discuss how setbacks are an inevitable part of success. Regardless, this vivid portrayal is full of exhilaration and suspense and will doubtlessly create new fans and inspire or increase a love of space exploration.

Captures the excitement of space travel while creating a warm portrait of an innovative explorer. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-274714-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter

MALALA'S MAGIC PENCIL

The latest of many picture books about the young heroine from Pakistan, this one is narrated by Malala herself, with a frame that is accessible to young readers.

Malala introduces her story using a television show she used to watch about a boy with a magic pencil that he used to get himself and his friends out of trouble. Readers can easily follow Malala through her own discovery of troubles in her beloved home village, such as other children not attending school and soldiers taking over the village. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations give a strong sense of setting, while gold ink designs overlay Malala’s hopes onto her often dreary reality. The story makes clear Malala’s motivations for taking up the pen to tell the world about the hardships in her village and only alludes to the attempt on her life, with a black page (“the dangerous men tried to silence me. / But they failed”) and a hospital bracelet on her wrist the only hints of the harm that came to her. Crowds with signs join her call before she is shown giving her famous speech before the United Nations. Toward the end of the book, adult readers may need to help children understand Malala’s “work,” but the message of holding fast to courage and working together is powerful and clear.

An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter . (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-31957-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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