A noteworthy start for chapter-book readers wishing to read more about young leaders of the movement.

CLAUDETTE COLVIN

From the She Persisted series

Cline-Ransom writes the moving story of young civil rights pioneer Claudette Colvin in this chapter-book biography that expands the She Persisted picture-book series created by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger.

Weaving together detailed historical background and personal information about Colvin’s life, Cline-Ransome brings the teen activist to life with great compassion and impressive brevity. From her humble beginnings in Pine Level, Alabama, to the loss of her sister to polio when Colvin was 13, readers learn the personal struggles the youth experienced as well as some of her triumphs, such as her frequent victories in class spelling bees, before being pushed into the spotlight for refusing to give up her seat to a White woman months before Rosa Parks would. The book very briefly discusses the politics behind why Colvin is lesser-known than Rosa Parks, focusing on community activists’ leeriness of her youth and not mentioning her pregnancy. With an eye toward the audience, the book keeps Colvin’s emotional journey at its heart even as it summarizes the boycott in conclusion. Flint’s occasional black-and-white interior illustrations emulate Boiger’s airy style, depicting Colvin with her loving family, riding in a Montgomery bus in a scene foreshadowing her history-making moment, and praying in a jail cell. Suggestions for how readers might persist appear in the backmatter.

A noteworthy start for chapter-book readers wishing to read more about young leaders of the movement. (further reading, websites) (Biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11583-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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This lighthearted addition to the STEM shelf encourages children to question, hypothesize, experiment, and observe.

IT'S A ROUND, ROUND WORLD!

From the Joulia Copernicus series

In a confident first-person narrative, young scientist Joulia Copernicus debunks the story that Columbus “proved Earth is round.”

Informing readers that Columbus knew this fact, and so did most people of his time, Joulia also points out that “Ancient Greek, Islamic, and Indian scholars theorized that Earth was round WAY before Columbus’s time.” Confident Joulia explains how Columbus, shown as a haughty captain in the humorous, cartoon illustrations, and his fellow mariners confirmed Earth was round by discerning “that when ships sail away from you, they seem to disappear from the bottom. When they sail toward you, they appear from the top. On a flat Earth, you’d see the entire ship the entire time.” The accompanying illustrations, almost like animation cels, provide the visuals readers need to confirm these assertions. Joulia also turns to astronomy. A lunar eclipse is the highlight of a double-page spread with a large yellow sun, a personified blue and green Earth wearing sunglasses, and the moon moving in iterations through the Earth’s shadow. This shows readers that the Earth’s shadow is “ROUND!” Joulia has straight, brown hair and pale skin and is almost always the only human in any given illustration. It’s great to see a young woman scientist, but it’s too bad there’s not more diversity around her. Two experiments stimulate further exploration.

This lighthearted addition to the STEM shelf encourages children to question, hypothesize, experiment, and observe. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63592-128-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: StarBerry Books

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A book to share that celebrates an immigrant and his abiding love for his adopted country, its holidays, and his “home sweet...

IRVING BERLIN, THE IMMIGRANT BOY WHO MADE AMERICA SING

A Jewish immigrant from Russia gives America some of its most iconic and beloved songs.

When Israel Baline was just 5 years old, his family fled pogroms in the Russian Empire and landed in New York City’s Lower East Side community. In the 1890s the neighborhood was filled with the sights, smells, and, most of all, sounds of a very crowded but vibrant community of poor Europeans who sailed past the Statue of Liberty in New York’s harbor to make a new life. Israel, who later became Irving Berlin, was eager to capture those sounds in music. He had no formal musical training but succeeded grandly by melding the rich cantorial music of his father with the spirit of America. Churnin’s text focuses on Berlin’s early years and how his mother’s words were an inspiration for “God Bless America.” She does not actually refer to Berlin as Jewish until her author’s note. Sanchez’s digital illustrations busily fill the mostly dark-hued pages with angular faces and the recurring motif of a very long swirling red scarf, worn by Berlin throughout. Librarians should note that the CIP information and the timeline are on pages pasted to the inside covers.

A book to share that celebrates an immigrant and his abiding love for his adopted country, its holidays, and his “home sweet home.” (author’s note, timeline) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-939547-44-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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