Young readers will find much food for thought in this inspiring profile of a lesser-known civil rights leader.

SWEET JUSTICE

GEORGIA GILMORE AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT

Georgia Gilmore was just an ordinary person when she fed and funded the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“Georgia was cooking when she heard the news,” the story begins. The year is 1955, and civil rights activist Rosa Parks has just been arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a White man on a bus. Gilmore had spent her entire life in Montgomery, Alabama, and was no stranger to segregation. Having had her own brush with a racist bus driver, she knew the pain of being treated unjustly. Georgia springs into action, joining her neighbors as they march through the streets in mass protest against the Montgomery bus system. Georgia begins selling pastries and dinners, including her famous crispy chicken sandwiches, keeping the people fed during Dr. Martin Luther King’s church meetings. She then organizes a secret group of friends, dubbed the Club From Nowhere, to help her continue the venture. They use the money they make to support the boycott, which ultimately ends when a Supreme Court ruling makes segregation on public buses unconstitutional. Despite the hardships she experienced, Georgia persevered, eventually opening her own restaurant, which became a hub for Black community organizing. Christie’s vivid acrylic paintings propel the narrative with a fine balance of pathos and power. The straightforward text uses food as an extended metaphor to underscore Georgia’s tenacity and African American people’s hunger for equality and justice.

Young readers will find much food for thought in this inspiring profile of a lesser-known civil rights leader. (notes, author’s note, sources) (Picture book biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5247-2064-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House Studio

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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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

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A lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished—and survived.

SURVIVOR TREE

A remarkable tree stands where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once soared.

Through simple, tender text, readers learn the life-affirming story of a Callery pear tree that grew and today still flourishes “at the foot of the towers.” The author eloquently describes the pre-9/11 life of the “Survivor Tree” and its heartening, nearly decadelong journey to renewal following its recovery from the wreckage of the towers’ destruction. By tracking the tree’s journey through the natural cycle of seasonal changes and colors after it was found beneath “the blackened remains,” she tells how, after replanting and with loving care (at a nursery in the Bronx), the tree managed miraculously to flourish again. Retransplanted at the Sept. 11 memorial, it valiantly stands today, a symbol of new life and resilience. Hazy, delicate watercolor-and–colored pencil artwork powerfully traces the tree’s existence before and after the towers’ collapse; early pages include several snapshotlike insets capturing people enjoying the outdoors through the seasons. Scenes depicting the towers’ ruins are aptly somber yet hopeful, as they show the crushed tree still defiantly alive. The vivid changes that new seasons introduce are lovingly presented, reminding readers that life unceasingly renews itself. Many paintings are cast in a rosy glow, symbolizing that even the worst disasters can bring forth hope. People depicted are racially diverse. Backmatter material includes additional facts about the tree.

A lovely 20th-anniversary tribute to the towers and all who perished—and survived. (author's note, artist's note) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-48767-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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