MUSLIM GIRLS RISE

INSPIRATIONAL CHAMPIONS OF OUR TIME

Not to be missed. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Illustrated profiles of Muslim women who are pioneers, change-makers, fighters, and champions in various fields show young people how they can thrive.

Compilations about women leaders have grown in number each year; now, at last, here is one about modern Muslim women that exhorts readers to “find your passion, and…RISE.” Each woman is presented on a double-page spread. An illustration of her in the context of her life’s work faces a half-page of text: an inspirational quote followed by a substantial paragraph that describes how her childhood passions and inspirations led to her work. The women hail from various countries, including England, Iran, Kuwait, Somalia, and Pakistan, with the United States heavily represented. Included are athletes (squash player Maria Toorpakai Wazir), politicians (U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar), activists (Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour), writers (Ms. Marvel creators Sana Amanat and G. Willow Wilson), filmmakers (Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy), scholars (researcher Dalia Mogahed), and teachers (Muzoon Almellehan). The large trim and font, the engaging, animationlike illustrations, and the simplicity of the text make this collection visually suitable for a younger reader than is usually targeted in group biographies. The brevity of each profile may leave some readers wanting more details, but an extensive bibliography provides resources for further exploration. As a collection for younger readers to browse, as a starting point for older readers, and as a source of inspiration and pride for all ages, this volume wins.

Not to be missed. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1888-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

MORE THAN PEACH

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 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

BASKETBALL DREAMS

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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