A lively salute to an important, influential life of music and service.

READ REVIEW

BY AND BY

CHARLES TINDLEY, THE FATHER OF GOSPEL MUSIC

A child born to one free and one enslaved parent grows up to make a difference in the spiritual and secular lives of his people.

Charles Albert Tindley, born in antebellum Maryland, had a difficult childhood, losing his mother while very young and consigned to a life of harsh field work. There he heard the spirituals that the enslaved workers sang and longed to be able to read the Bible stories that inspired them. Once he learned and was able to read aloud in church, he was inspired to continue his search for more knowledge. In time, he married and moved to Philadelphia, eventually becoming pastor of the church whose floors he’d mopped while studying. As his congregation grew, he preached and sang, eventually writing a hymnal containing songs he had composed—songs that have become an important part of the rich musical tradition of the black church. (Lists of popular hymns and of songs quoted in the book appear in the backmatter.) Weatherford tells Tindley’s story in rhyming verse that captures his drive for spiritual growth, service, and musical expression. Collier’s strong, vivid watercolor-and-collage illustrations enhance the text and visually depict the various facets of Tindley’s life. His use of perspective often highlights the pastor’s efforts to connect with issues beyond those of the earthly realm.

A lively salute to an important, influential life of music and service. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, bibliography, resources) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2636-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sanitized version of a too-short life.

I AM ANNE FRANK

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

A bobblehead avatar of the teenage writer and symbol of the Holocaust presents her life as an inspiration.

From a big-eared babyhood and a childhood spent “writing stories” to fleeing Germany for Amsterdam, Anne’s pre-Annex life is sketched. Narrating in the first person, the cartoon Anne explains that Nazis “didn’t like those of us who were Jewish or other groups who were different from them.” Hitler is presented as a leader “who blamed the Jews for all of Germany’s problems, even though we hadn’t done anything wrong.” Then in short order Anne receives her diary as a birthday present, the family goes into hiding, and Anne finds solace in the attic looking at the chestnut tree and writing. Effectively, Annex scenes are squeezed between broad black borders. Illustrations present four snippets of quotes from her diary, including “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Narrator Anne says, “You can always find light in the darkest places. That’s what hope is,” as she clutches the diary with Shabbat candles on one side and a menorah burning brightly on the other. In the next double-page spread, an international array of modern-day visitors standing outside the Anne Frank House briefly, in speech bubbles, wraps up the story of the Holocaust, the diary, the Annex, and the chestnut tree. Anne’s wretched death in a concentration camp is mentioned only in a concluding timeline. I Am Benjamin Franklin publishes simultaneously. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7.5-by-15-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

A sanitized version of a too-short life. (photos, sources, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55594-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more