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I AND I

BOB MARLEY

In Love to Langston, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (2002), Medina paid homage to the Harlem poet Langston Hughes. His latest biography-in-verse celebrates another powerful master of words: Bob Marley. Early poems show Marley growing up on the Jamaican “farm of Nine Miles dust,” struggling to understand his mixed heritage and absent father. Then, in “My Papa Sends for Me,” a scared little boy of six boards a bus in the hopes of a better future, all the while crying “a hurricane of pain.” Stories unfold in 17 individual poems as Marley learns the power of music, falls in love and ultimately shares his redemption songs with the world. Biographical elements sometimes stall the pace, but most verses scan smoothly in a relaxed, reggae style. Watson’s light-soaked strokes of reds, greens and yellows saturate the pages with warmth and vitality. The irrefutable kind of reggae bursts forth with twinkling eyes and “dreads / a twirl.” From love to politics to peace, Marley’s music stirs the soul—as does this passionate collaboration. Detailed endnotes provide background, poem by poem. (Biography/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-60060-257-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2009

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
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BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI

From the Becoming Ali series , Vol. 1

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers.

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
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  • New York Times Bestseller

Two bestselling authors imagine the boyhood of the man who became the legendary boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

Cassius was a spirited child growing up in segregated Louisville, Kentucky. He had a loving home with his parents and younger brother, Rudy. Granddaddy Herman also was an important figure, imparting life lessons. His parents wanted him to succeed in school, but Cassius had difficulty reading and found more pleasure in playing and exploring outdoors. Early on, he and Rudy knew the restrictions of being African American, for example, encountering “Whites Only” signs at parks, but the brothers dreamed of fame like that enjoyed by Black boxer Joe Louis. Popular Cassius was especially close to Lucius “Lucky” Wakely; despite their academic differences, their deep connection remained after Lucky received a scholarship to a Catholic school. When Cassius wandered into the Columbia Boxing Gym, it seemed to be destiny, and he developed into a successful youth boxer. Told in two voices, with prose for the voice of Lucky and free verse for Cassius, the narrative provides readers with a multidimensional view of the early life of and influences on an important figure in sports and social change. Lucky’s observations give context while Cassius’ poetry encapsulates his drive, energy, and gift with words. Combined with dynamic illustrations by Anyabwile, the book captures the historical and social environment that produced Muhammad Ali.

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers. (bibliography) (Biographical novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49816-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown and HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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