Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

by Andrea Davis Pinkney
illustrated by Stephen Alcorn
Sandpiper/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | January 8, 2013 (paperback reprint edition)
Order now!

Originally published in 2000, this gorgeous new paperback reprint edition would be a fantastic addition to any middle-school classroom. Chronicling the stories of 10 important black women freedom fighters (a term I love), the book offers succinct yet information-rich vignettes of each person.

Included are Sojourner Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm. How many of these women have you heard about before? Are you sure you know their whole story?

The text is lyrically written, just as we've come to expect from Pinkney. Lines like these, from the section on Sojourner Truth lead the reader in and makes you want more: "Belle's mother, Mau-Mau Bett, had a special kind of strength. She was quiet strong, like a wind that keeps a boat on course."

The art is the perfect blend of realistic and whimsical, with gorgeous color and rich details. An entire discussion could happen just about what the art depicts and why. The trim size is a perfect 9 x 12, which is big enough for two students to read together, huddled over a desk as they prepare a report or a presentation to their classmates. This is the perfect non-fiction text: it draws the reader in and makes learning both interesting and fun.

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