An interesting, informative account of a little-known woman of great achievement.

HANNAH G. SOLOMON DARED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Even as a child, Hannah Greenebaum knew she was destined to spend her life helping those in need.

Her parents were responsible for many milestones in Chicago’s Jewish community, including the founding of the first Reform synagogue. Her father also helped new immigrants find jobs and was instrumental in aiding runaway slaves. Her mother started a Jewish women’s sewing group that made clothes for the poor. As an adult Hannah was the first Jewish woman admitted to the Chicago Women’s Club. She fought tirelessly for women’s advancements against male domination both within Orthodox Judaism and in the general society. From a conference of Jewish women that she organized came the National Council of Jewish Women, an organization that worked directly with people in need and pushed for new laws to address poverty, housing, and education. She also expanded her activism to the women’s suffrage movement. Lindauer presents Solomon’s groundbreaking accomplishments in clear, concise language with great admiration, stressing her persistence and determination. Statements attributed to Solomon seem to be based on her remembrances, presumably from her memoir or archived papers as mentioned on the copyright page, but no sources are cited specifically. Many of Moore’s illustrations have a 3-D effect with black-line sketched backgrounds from which brightly colored foregrounds and people emerge. Solomon mostly appears as a part of groups, with little seen of her emotions or facial expressions. Her spouse, Henry Solomon, appears only in the closing timeline.

An interesting, informative account of a little-known woman of great achievement. (photos, author’s note, timeline) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72841-573-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom.

MORE THAN PEACH

A Black girl’s simple observation propels her into activism.

Woodard, who launched the More Than Peach Project—which arranges for classrooms and children in need to receive kits that include art supplies and boxes of multicultural crayons (crayons in a variety of skin tones)—relates the incident that sparked her journey. As the book begins, she is dropped off at school and notices that her family’s skin tone differs from that of her classmates. While it is clear that she is one of a few children of color at school, that difference isn’t really felt until her friends start asking for the “skin-color” crayon when they mean peach. She’s bothered that no one else seems to notice that skin comes in many colors, so she devises a unique way of bringing everyone’s attention to that fact. With support from her family and her school, she encourages her fellow classmates to rethink their language and starts an initiative to ensure that everyone’s skin tone is represented in each crayon box. Appealing, realistic artwork depicts Woodard’s experiences, while endpapers feature More Than Peach crayon boxes and childlike illustrations of kids of different ethnicities doing various activities. The story is stirring and will motivate budding activists. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom. (note from Woodard, information on Woodard’s journey into activism, instructions on starting a drive) (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80927-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A unique angle on a watershed moment in the civil rights era.

I AM RUBY BRIDGES

The New Orleans school child who famously broke the color line in 1960 while surrounded by federal marshals describes the early days of her experience from a 6-year-old’s perspective.

Bridges told her tale to younger children in 2009’s Ruby Bridges Goes to School, but here the sensibility is more personal, and the sometimes-shocking historical photos have been replaced by uplifting painted scenes. “I didn’t find out what being ‘the first’ really meant until the day I arrived at this new school,” she writes. Unfrightened by the crowd of “screaming white people” that greets her at the school’s door (she thinks it’s like Mardi Gras) but surprised to find herself the only child in her classroom, and even the entire building, she gradually realizes the significance of her act as (in Smith’s illustration) she compares a small personal photo to the all-White class photos posted on a bulletin board and sees the difference. As she reflects on her new understanding, symbolic scenes first depict other dark-skinned children marching into classes in her wake to friendly greetings from lighter-skinned classmates (“School is just school,” she sensibly concludes, “and kids are just kids”) and finally an image of the bright-eyed icon posed next to a soaring bridge of reconciliation. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A unique angle on a watershed moment in the civil rights era. (author and illustrator notes, glossary) (Autobiographical picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-75388-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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