A surprisingly successful and enlightening combination strengthened by striking artwork.

MARTIN & ANNE

THE KINDRED SPIRITS OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND ANNE FRANK

The lives and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank are drawn in parallel in this visually appealing picture book.

Born in the same year on different continents, Martin and Anne both faced discrimination from the time they were school aged. Peers who were former friends fell in line with laws and policies made by privileged groups of which they were not a part. “Whites only” signs and “No Jews allowed” signs; a speech competition and a diary; beginning college at 15 and learning about Ghandi, and writing about dreams for a better world—these experiences are illustrated in matching form on opposite sides of each spread. Martin grows up to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and his assassination at age 39 cannot silence his message; Anne’s life comes to an end at 15, but her legacy lives on when her diary is published and becomes a bestseller. While the ending is trite (“Love is stronger than hate. / Kindness can heal the world”), the journey through their lives and the effect of coupling their lasting impact are powerful. The art emphasizes the message of parallel experiences and changing worlds. With natural tones of green and brown and stylized faces and forms, the images don’t fall back on King’s iconic look, creating instead a fresh tapestry of landscapes and humanity.

A surprisingly successful and enlightening combination strengthened by striking artwork. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-939547-53-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 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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A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal.

JUST LIKE JESSE OWENS

Before growing up to become a major figure in the civil rights movement, a boy finds a role model.

Buffing up a childhood tale told by her renowned father, Young Shelton describes how young Andrew saw scary men marching in his New Orleans neighborhood (“It sounded like they were yelling ‘Hi, Hitler!’ ”). In response to his questions, his father took him to see a newsreel of Jesse Owens (“a runner who looked like me”) triumphing in the 1936 Olympics. “Racism is a sickness,” his father tells him. “We’ve got to help folks like that.” How? “Well, you can start by just being the best person you can be,” his father replies. “It’s what you do that counts.” In James’ hazy chalk pastels, Andrew joins racially diverse playmates (including a White child with an Irish accent proudly displaying the nickel he got from his aunt as a bribe to stop playing with “those Colored boys”) in tag and other games, playing catch with his dad, sitting in the midst of a cheering crowd in the local theater’s segregated balcony, and finally visualizing himself pelting down a track alongside his new hero—“head up, back straight, eyes focused,” as a thematically repeated line has it, on the finish line. An afterword by Young Shelton explains that she retold this story, told to her many times growing up, drawing from conversations with Young and from her own research; family photos are also included. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal. (illustrator’s note) (Autobiographical picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-545-55465-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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