NEYMAR

A SOCCER DREAM COME TRUE

From pretend soccer games with family members in his grandfather’s house to playing for the Brazilian national soccer team, this is the story of Neymar Jr., one of the world’s most valuable players.

From a very young age, Neymar Jr. feels a passion for soccer, a passion exemplified by the numerous soccer games he plays, both indoors with other family members or outdoors with his friends on the lawn, and the fact that he always carries a ball with him, including during family meals. His talent is soon spotted by a friend of the family who takes him under his wing to coach him, and the training finally pays off when Neymar Jr. joins a local team, Santos FC, and plays in the youth league. Neymar Jr.’s brilliance is such that he is invited to a trial with Real Madrid, but the experience is short-lived as he realizes how much he misses his family, his “real joy,” and decides, despite mounting criticism, to return to Brazil. He continues to progress with his team, with whom he wins major titles before finally signing up for European teams. Javaherbin’s free-flowing narrative in Neymar Jr.’s imagined first-person voice, coupled with Hoppe’s evocative, movement-filled illustrations, brings life to this athlete’s biography. A real page-turner, this book couldn’t have been released at a better time, a few months before the 2018 World Cup.

A gem. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-374-31066-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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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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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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