Stylish, chic, and strong. Brava!



A good parent shows up—and stands up.

Jeanne Manford was an excellent mother. When her son Morty told her that he was gay, she accepted him. When Morty was later attacked while protesting discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, Jeanne took action: She started by writing a letter that was published in the New York Post that declared that she loved her gay son, a groundbreaking move in the 1970s. Jeanne was also a founding member of PFLAG, which began in 1972 as POG, or Parents of Gays, before becoming Parents FLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). In 2014 the group changed its name to just PFLAG to be more inclusive. In rousing prose, Sanders describes how Jeanne helped motivate other loving parents to create a support network of allies who have diligently worked to help defend equal rights for queer individuals. This is a valuable tool for research projects, with backmatter that includes information on Jeanne’s son Morty Manford, PFLAG’s history, a robust list of sources, and an up-to-date selection of other titles about queer history. Jeanne presents as White; racially diverse individuals are represented in the illustrations. The artwork has a timeless feel, though with a hat tip to the earthy tones of the 1970s. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Stylish, chic, and strong. Brava! (discussion guide, glossary, image of a protest poster created by Jeanne) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4338-4020-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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A unique angle on a watershed moment in the civil rights era.


The New Orleans school child who famously broke the color line in 1960 while surrounded by federal marshals describes the early days of her experience from a 6-year-old’s perspective.

Bridges told her tale to younger children in 2009’s Ruby Bridges Goes to School, but here the sensibility is more personal, and the sometimes-shocking historical photos have been replaced by uplifting painted scenes. “I didn’t find out what being ‘the first’ really meant until the day I arrived at this new school,” she writes. Unfrightened by the crowd of “screaming white people” that greets her at the school’s door (she thinks it’s like Mardi Gras) but surprised to find herself the only child in her classroom, and even the entire building, she gradually realizes the significance of her act as (in Smith’s illustration) she compares a small personal photo to the all-White class photos posted on a bulletin board and sees the difference. As she reflects on her new understanding, symbolic scenes first depict other dark-skinned children marching into classes in her wake to friendly greetings from lighter-skinned classmates (“School is just school,” she sensibly concludes, “and kids are just kids”) and finally an image of the bright-eyed icon posed next to a soaring bridge of reconciliation. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A unique angle on a watershed moment in the civil rights era. (author and illustrator notes, glossary) (Autobiographical picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-75388-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom.


A Black girl’s simple observation propels her into activism.

Woodard, who launched the More Than Peach Project—which arranges for classrooms and children in need to receive kits that include art supplies and boxes of multicultural crayons (crayons in a variety of skin tones)—relates the incident that sparked her journey. As the book begins, she is dropped off at school and notices that her family’s skin tone differs from that of her classmates. While it is clear that she is one of a few children of color at school, that difference isn’t really felt until her friends start asking for the “skin-color” crayon when they mean peach. She’s bothered that no one else seems to notice that skin comes in many colors, so she devises a unique way of bringing everyone’s attention to that fact. With support from her family and her school, she encourages her fellow classmates to rethink their language and starts an initiative to ensure that everyone’s skin tone is represented in each crayon box. Appealing, realistic artwork depicts Woodard’s experiences, while endpapers feature More Than Peach crayon boxes and childlike illustrations of kids of different ethnicities doing various activities. The story is stirring and will motivate budding activists. (This book was reviewed digitally; the review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

An inspirational look at one girl’s quest to make sure that all skin tones are visible and available in the classroom. (note from Woodard, information on Woodard’s journey into activism, instructions on starting a drive) (Picture-book biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80927-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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