Will serve to empower children who feel as powerless as Thurgood Marshall once felt.

THE HIGHEST TRIBUTE

THURGOOD MARSHALL'S LIFE, LEADERSHIP, AND LEGACY

Born, raised, and educated in segregated early-20th-century Baltimore, Thurgood Marshall did not allow what he saw around him to determine who he could become.

Though he was too young to make changes to the systems that kept Black people from enjoying the same rights and spaces as White people, Marshall knew that he wanted to find a way to improve the world in which he lived. It was a fateful day when he was caught misbehaving and was punished by being forced to read the U.S. Constitution. That punishment developed his interest in the law and, eventually, debate. Readers learn that not only did Marshall win the case that integrated the University of Maryland, the institution that barred him from attending its law school, but he presented several cases before the Supreme Court—including Brown v. Board of Education—before he became a justice in 1967. Marshall’s life is detailed in bite-size pieces that make this book incredibly useful for reading and research by young students. The backmatter includes a timeline of Marshall’s life, a list of his major cases, and a bibliography for further reading. Many of Freeman’s illustrations incorporate text; in one scene, a young Marshall confronts a dizzying array of “Whites Only” and “Colored Section” signs; in another, he’s framed in a crossword-puzzle grid including terms such as justice and equality. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Will serve to empower children who feel as powerless as Thurgood Marshall once felt. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-291251-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world.

GRANDMA'S GARDENS

In an inviting picture book, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton share personal revelations on how gardening with a grandmother, a mother, and children shapes and nurtures a love and respect for nature, beauty, and a general philosophy for life.

Grandma Dorothy, the former senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate’s mother, loved gardens, appreciating the multiple benefits they yielded for herself and her family. The Clinton women reminisce about their beloved forebear and all she taught them in a color-coded, alternating text, blue for Chelsea and green for Hillary. Via brief yet explicit remembrances, they share what they learned, observed, and most of all enjoyed in gardens with her. Each double-page spread culminates in a declarative statement set in italicized red text invoking Dorothy’s wise words. Gardens can be many things: places for celebration, discovery and learning, vehicles for teaching responsibility in creating beauty, home to wildlife large and small, a place to share stories and develop memories. Though operating from very personal experience rooted in class privilege, the mother-daughter duo mostly succeeds in imparting a universally significant message: Whether visiting a public garden or working in the backyard, generations can cultivate a lasting bond. Lemniscates uses an appropriately floral palette to evoke the gardens explored by these three white women. A Spanish edition, Los jardines de la abuela, publishes simultaneously; Teresa Mlawer’s translation is fluid and pleasing, in at least one case improving on the original.

Sage, soothing ideas for a busy, loud, sometimes-divisive world. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11535-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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