A HEART IN POLITICS

JEANNETTE RANKIN AND PATSY T. MINK

Davidson (Getting the Real Story, not reviewed) pairs the stories of two pioneers in the struggle for equal rights for women. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress. Forty-nine years later, Representative Patsy T. Mink of Hawaii became the first Asian-American woman House member. Born in 1880, Rankin's career choices were limited. She began her political career by fighting for women's suffrage, and when women received the vote in Montana—largely due to Rankin's efforts—they helped elect Rankin to Congress. Soon after her arrival, Rankin was forced to vote on the US going to war. An ardent pacifist, she voted against American participation in WW I. Rankin was elected to her second term of Congress in 1939, and she again voted against war. After that, she became a political outcast until her consistently held pacifism made her a popular figure in the antiwar movement of the 1960s. She died in 1973. Mink faced not only sexism but also racism in her private life and political career. Born in 1927, she suffered from anti-Japanese sentiments during WW II. Although a strong candidate, she was rejected from all the medical schools she applied to. She became a lawyer but couldn't find work because she was a woman, Asian, and married. Mink got involved in politics when she was casually invited to a Democratic meeting in 1953. In 1965, she was elected to Congress, where she served until 1977. She was reelected in 1992. A lucid and enlightening double biography of two outstanding American women politicians. (Glossary; chronologies) (Biography. All ages)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 1994

ISBN: 1-878067-53-2

Page Count: 190

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1994

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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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Readers of all ages will return to this again and again for its history, adventure, humor, and breathtaking homage to...

THE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS

A spare recounting of Philippe Petit’s daring 1974 wire walk between the Twin Towers depicts him as a street performer who defies authority to risk his feat, is arrested, and then sentenced to perform for the children of New York.

At the conclusion, on the only non-illustrated page are the stark words, “Now the towers are gone,” followed by the changed skyline and finally by a skyline on which are etched the ghost-like shapes of the towers as memory of the buildings and of Petit’s exploit. At the heart are the spreads of Petit on the narrow wire, so far above the city that Earth’s curve is visible. Two ingenious gatefolds draw readers’ eyes into the vertiginous sweep of wirewalker—sky and city below. Unparalleled use of perspective and line—architectural verticals opposed to the curve of wires and earth—underscore disequilibrium and freedom. In a story that’s all about balance, the illustrations display it exquisitely in composition.

Readers of all ages will return to this again and again for its history, adventure, humor, and breathtaking homage to extraordinary buildings and a remarkable man. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2003

ISBN: 978-0-7613-1791-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2003

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