An incredible tribute to an African American woman who dismantled racial and gender obstacles amid the civil rights movement.

MAMIE ON THE MOUND

A WOMAN IN BASEBALL'S NEGRO LEAGUES

Mamie “Peanut” Johnson broke gender barriers playing in the Negro League in the 1950s.

Through informative prose and muscular illustrations, Mamie emerges as both small in stature and larger than life. Standing 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing in at 120 pounds, Mamie was frequently underestimated due to her small size and gender but consistently proved skeptics wrong with her strong right arm. She even joined the all-white, all-boys Long Branch Police Athletic League in New Jersey while still a preteen, overcoming her teammates’ snickers and helping them win two championships. She was unable to prove her worth for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which denied black women the opportunity to play. On the urging of a former Negro League player, Mamie won a spot on the Indianapolis Clowns at 19, eventually pitching her way to a 33-8 record in her three-season career. The artwork deftly works with the text to provide a memorable reading experience, Mamie’s enthusiasm and determination shining from every page. Images of Mamie facing down white and/or male hostility alternate with scenes of prowess and accomplishment. This compelling story of breaking barriers and perseverance is timely and essential; it will pair well with She Loved Baseball, by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Don Tate (2010).

An incredible tribute to an African American woman who dismantled racial and gender obstacles amid the civil rights movement. (afterword, notes, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68446-023-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston...

BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET

A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon.

In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the life of Harriet Tubman, starting and ending with a train ride Tubman takes as an old woman. “But before wrinkles formed / and her eyes failed,” Tubman could walk tirelessly under a starlit sky. Cline-Ransome then describes the array of roles Tubman played throughout her life, including suffragist, abolitionist, Union spy, and conductor on the Underground Railroad. By framing the story around a literal train ride, the Ransomes juxtapose the privilege of traveling by rail against Harriet’s earlier modes of travel, when she repeatedly ran for her life. Racism still abounds, however, for she rides in a segregated train. While the text introduces readers to the details of Tubman’s life, Ransome’s use of watercolor—such a striking departure from his oil illustrations in many of his other picture books—reveals Tubman’s humanity, determination, drive, and hope. Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.

A picture book more than worthy of sharing the shelf with Alan Schroeder and Jerry Pinkney’s Minty (1996) and Carole Boston Weatherford and Kadir Nelson’s Moses (2006). (Picture book/biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2047-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more