From beginning to end, fans will feel connected to the dynamic style of the Globetrotters and how they influenced American...

SWISH!

THE SLAM-DUNKING, ALLEY-OOPING, HIGH-FLYING HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS

A lively look at the history of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Five serious African American basketball players with no opportunity to play in the top teams due to the racism of the 1920s took their basketball skills on the road, calling themselves the Harlem Globe Trotters (they became the Globetrotters sometime in the ’30s). White America had a hard time coping with the Trotters’ beating their teams—until the Trotters changed the way they played. They turned their games into theatrics, emphasizing slapstick and hilarity while at the same time honing their skills till “they played the most breathtaking, groundbreaking ball the country had ever seen.” In 1948, Globetrotters finally got an opportunity to challenge the Minnesota Lakers, the best team in the Whites-only NBA. The Globetrotters’ win caused the entire NBA to reconsider their recruitment policy. Slade has done careful, thorough research, easily engaging young readers as they learn about the Globetrotters’ groundbreaking history. Veteran illustrator Tate creates constant movement, visually underscoring the title with dynamic (sometimes impossible) perspectives and basketballs caught in stop-motion fashion as they fly across the court. Robust backmatter bolsters the account, including a detailed timeline that’s thoughtfully printed on the inside pages of the endpapers so that pasted-down jacket flaps will not obscure any of it.

From beginning to end, fans will feel connected to the dynamic style of the Globetrotters and how they influenced American history. (further information, artist’s note, selected sources, photos) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-48167-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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Effectively argues that “People are more powerful together.”

SOMETIMES PEOPLE MARCH

Simple, direct statements are paired with watercolor illustrations to highlight some of the rallying causes for organized marches throughout the history of the United States.

The text and art begin with two marches that will reemerge as metaphor later in the book: a long line of ants marching to and from a piece of watermelon, and members of a blue-and-gold–clad marching band following their leader’s baton. As the band recedes on the verso, across the gutter an extremely diverse group of people similar to the crowds marching across the book’s cover advances toward readers on recto. Here the text repeats the book’s title. Next, negative space surrounds a small group of women and children—obviously from an earlier time—holding a protest sign. The text explains that sometimes people march “to resist injustice.” The facing page shows a contemporary family gazing with chagrin at a polluted beach; they will march because they “notice a need for change.” The text continues to offer simple explanations of why people march, eventually moving to other peaceful means of resistance, including signs, boycotts, strikes, sit-ins, and “taking a knee.” Hardship in the form of physical and psychic exhaustion is mentioned, but police and other legally sanctioned violence against protest is not—the general mood is uplifting encouragement to young, potential activists. This timely book combines rudimentary facts about peaceful resistance with art that depicts organized actions from the 19th century through today, and endnotes reveal more specifics about each illustration, including historic figures represented.

Effectively argues that “People are more powerful together.” (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299118-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A sanitized version of a too-short life.

I AM ANNE FRANK

From the Ordinary People Change the World series

A bobblehead avatar of the teenage writer and symbol of the Holocaust presents her life as an inspiration.

From a big-eared babyhood and a childhood spent “writing stories” to fleeing Germany for Amsterdam, Anne’s pre-Annex life is sketched. Narrating in the first person, the cartoon Anne explains that Nazis “didn’t like those of us who were Jewish or other groups who were different from them.” Hitler is presented as a leader “who blamed the Jews for all of Germany’s problems, even though we hadn’t done anything wrong.” Then in short order Anne receives her diary as a birthday present, the family goes into hiding, and Anne finds solace in the attic looking at the chestnut tree and writing. Effectively, Annex scenes are squeezed between broad black borders. Illustrations present four snippets of quotes from her diary, including “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Narrator Anne says, “You can always find light in the darkest places. That’s what hope is,” as she clutches the diary with Shabbat candles on one side and a menorah burning brightly on the other. In the next double-page spread, an international array of modern-day visitors standing outside the Anne Frank House briefly, in speech bubbles, wraps up the story of the Holocaust, the diary, the Annex, and the chestnut tree. Anne’s wretched death in a concentration camp is mentioned only in a concluding timeline. I Am Benjamin Franklin publishes simultaneously. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7.5-by-15-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

A sanitized version of a too-short life. (photos, sources, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55594-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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