A young white Southern woman becomes an active participant in the civil rights struggle.
Born to staunch segregationists in Virginia, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland grew up in the 1950s, but a determination for equal rights for both white and black people led her to take part in lunch-counter demonstrations and become a Freedom Rider. Incarceration in an infamous Mississippi prison did not change her beliefs, and she joined the 1963 March on Washington. In 2013, her son, Loki Mulholland, produced a film about her life entitled An Ordinary Hero. In this book, he and Fairwell present important events in brief but dramatic vignettes. Mulholland’s courage and determination are stressed and explained in terms that young readers can understand. When as a child she first sees a black schoolhouse, “Joan’s soul was rattled. This was not fair.” The colorful cut-paper–collage illustrations by Janssen feature photographs, photographic imagery, and scenes that should be familiar to those studying the time period. A biography for middle graders by Loki Mulholland, also called She Stood for Freedom, publishes simultaneously.
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland’s is not a name that is familiar in children’s books; this is an excellent opportunity to correct an oversight. (timeline) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)