THE HARVEY MILK STORY by Kari Krakow

THE HARVEY MILK STORY

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Krakow debuts with a first of its kind: a picture-book biography of an important gay-rights figure. Simply, yet naturally, she tells the story of the man who was “the first openly gay elected city official in the United States.” She begins with his childhood—he loved to be the center of attention—and follows his path through high school where he played sports and was a popular student, through the Navy and into a career as a teacher. Somewhere around the age of 14, he realized that he was gay. But as was typical of the time, he kept it a secret for many years, in fear of what would happen to him if people knew. A first relationship that lasted for six years finally broke apart because of the strain of the secret. His move to San Francisco finally freed him from the closet, and he became an active member of his community in the Castro, eventually running for office. Gardner’s sunny pictures occupy two-thirds of each page, depicting a usually smiling fellow happily engaged in being a part of the bigger world, eventually making “laws to ensure the quality of life for all people.” Approaching the end of the story, the illustrations as well as the text take on a darker, grayer mood until candles light the darkness as “the people of San Francisco wept.” Capturing just the right tone for its audience, this is a significant contribution to the genre and a fitting tribute to an ordinary guy turned extraordinary. (epilogue, author's notes, bibliography, Web sites) (Biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-9674468-3-X
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2002




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