From the She Persisted series

A compelling story that's empowering and inspirational.

This latest in the She Persisted series explores the life of Malala Yousafzai, the fierce teenage activist from Pakistan who advocated for the right to an education.

This nonfiction chapter book opens with Yousafzai’s birth in Pakistan’s verdant Swat Valley. Readers learn that Yousafzai’s father named her after legendary Afghan poet Malalai of Maiwand. Inherently curious, she was a bright student, encouraged by her schoolteacher father. When the Taliban started closing, and then blowing up, schools, 11-year-old Yousafzai was forced to give up her education temporarily. But she refused to let that defeat her and began to write and talk about what was happening—a move that brought her into the Taliban’s crosshairs; when she was 15, two men shot her in the head. Yousafzai recovered from her injury and refused to let the attempt on her life deter her, becoming an inspiration to the world, a staunch defendant of the right to education. The book brings together major events in Yousafzai’s life yet also offers readers a deeper understanding about larger issues such as the right to education, which has often been denied to girls and women, and the power of advocacy. It also offers a comprehensible yet nuanced consideration of Islam (“But Malala was also Muslim, and she knew what they were doing was not acceptable in her religion”). Final illustrations not seen.

A compelling story that's empowering and inspirational. (“how you can persist,” references) (Illustrated chapter book. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-40291-7

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022


A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal.

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 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022



Visuals dominate on the page. Harris adds to large photos and samples of Parrish’s adult work an elaborately detailed dragon...

The generous (if selective and unfocused) array of pictures don’t quite compensate for a vague, sketchy accompanying narrative in this biography, the first about the influential painter aimed at young people.

Visuals dominate on the page. Harris adds to large photos and samples of Parrish’s adult work an elaborately detailed dragon he drew at age 7, a letter from his teens festooned with funny caricatures and a page of college chemistry notes tricked out with Palmer Cox–style brownies. Rather than include “Daybreak” (his most famous work) or any of Parrish’s characteristically androgynous figures, though, she tucks in semi-relevant but innocuous images from other artists of places Parrish visited and—just because in his prime he was grouped with them for the wide popularity of his reproduced art—a Van Gogh and a Cézanne. Along with steering a careful course in her account of Parrish’s private life (avoiding any reference to his lifelong mistress and frequent model Sue Lewin, for instance), the author makes only a few vague comments about the artist’s distinctive style and technique. In the same vein, she passes quickly over his influences, reduces all of his book-illustration work to one brief mention and closes with the laughable claim that he was the first artist in history who “created for more than a few.”

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4556-1472-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pelican

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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