Review by Booklist Review
This vibrantly illustrated group biography geared toward elementary-school readers balances household names like Rosa Parks with lesser-known civil rights advocates like Dorothy Cotton for an engaging primer on the women of the movement. Each figure gets her own spread, a bright portrait by illustrator Holt, and a quick biographical sketch focusing on what earned her place in the collection. While many of the sketches may leave readers wanting more, their focus on the "why" rather than the basic biographical details allows the reader to fall right into step beside each woman. Russell-Brown's writing style keeps the facts front and center while still evoking the feelings of each woman as they come to life on the page in 200 words or less, perfectly pitched to a child's perspective. With back matter broken up for each figure and a welcoming layout that invites a binge reading or a slow exploration, this title will be a strong addition to history or biography collections, especially if supplemented by longer-form titles on the figures that particularly pique the interests of readers.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Russell-Brown recognizes the contributions of Black "sheroes of the Civil Rights Movement" in this collection of 12 brief biographies, followed by a spread on freedom marchers. Opening with Ella Baker (1903--1986), "revered as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement," short chapters profile the work of activists including Coretta Scott King (1927--2006), Rosa Parks (1913--2005), and Bernice Johnson Reagon (b. 1942), among others. Cursory but scene-setting prose details the figures' activist acts, while vibrant digital renderings from Holt provide expressive depictions of the individuals: Ruby Bridges (b. 1954) appears as the sole student in a classroom; Diane Nash (b. 1938) is handcuffed by two white-presenting police officers. Despite their brevity, the life stories offer an accessible platform for further investigation. Back matter includes quotes and sources. Ages 4--8. (Jan.)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A celebration of 12 Black women who helped shape a movement. This illuminating picture book begins with a pointed description of the civil rights movement that highlights Black women's crucial roles in the fight for equality. Next, Russell-Brown includes a list of the book's 13 sections (one devoted to each woman and a final one on the freedom marchers); though a few names will be readily recognizable, many may be unfamiliar. Readers learn how Ella Baker helped start the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Other highlights--Ruby Bridges and her fight to integrate schools, Claudette Colvin's refusal to move to the back of a Montgomery bus, and Dorothy Cotton's ability to organize people--will also inspire young readers to make a difference in their own lives. Other notable figures include Fannie Lou Hamer, Coretta Scott King, Diane Nash, Rosa Parks, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Gloria Richardson, Jo Ann Robinson, and Sheyann Webb. The subjects are organized alphabetically by last name, and each entry lists their place of birth and life span, indicating that some of these heroes are still among us and that the fight for racial equality was not so long ago. Entries offer brief but energizing summaries of these women's contributions along with realistically vibrant illustrations that depict these larger-than-life figures in action. Backmatter includes quotes from each subject and a list of resources to learn more about these influential women. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A book worth uplifting. (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.