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A comprehensive look at an extraordinary life and continuing legacy.

A look into the formative years of Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

Duckworth is introduced as a young schoolgirl curiously examining a globe. An American citizen who was born in Bangkok, Thailand, she traveled “all over Southeast Asia with her family.” Tammy’s father worked for the United Nations, and she accompanied him as he helped refugees; while observing, young Tammy decided to dedicate herself to helping others. After bouts of homelessness and food insecurity while growing up, with Tammy supporting the family at one point by selling flowers by the roadside, she attended college and graduate school, then joined the Army National Guard. The evenly paced, thorough narrative reveals that after many years of service, Tammy nearly died in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2004, leaving her with severe chronic pain and prosthetic legs. Phumiruk uses cooler muted colors to portray the physical and emotional obstacles Duckworth overcame during her long recovery and rehabilitation. Brighter and warmer colors are slowly incorporated onto each page as Duckworth, with the encouragement of a local senator, campaigned, lost one race, but eventually was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Duckworth continued to break down even more barriers after becoming a senator. With the birth of her second daughter, she was able to change chamber rules so that she could bring her infant daughter with her to vote. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A comprehensive look at an extraordinary life and continuing legacy. (timeline, information on Duckworth’s achievements, books and websites) (Picture-book biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-2205-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

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Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter.

The latest of many picture books about the young heroine from Pakistan, this one is narrated by Malala herself, with a frame that is accessible to young readers.

Malala introduces her story using a television show she used to watch about a boy with a magic pencil that he used to get himself and his friends out of trouble. Readers can easily follow Malala through her own discovery of troubles in her beloved home village, such as other children not attending school and soldiers taking over the village. Watercolor-and-ink illustrations give a strong sense of setting, while gold ink designs overlay Malala’s hopes onto her often dreary reality. The story makes clear Malala’s motivations for taking up the pen to tell the world about the hardships in her village and only alludes to the attempt on her life, with a black page (“the dangerous men tried to silence me. / But they failed”) and a hospital bracelet on her wrist the only hints of the harm that came to her. Crowds with signs join her call before she is shown giving her famous speech before the United Nations. Toward the end of the book, adult readers may need to help children understand Malala’s “work,” but the message of holding fast to courage and working together is powerful and clear.

An inspiring introduction to the young Nobel Peace Prize winner and a useful conversation starter. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-31957-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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