Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Non-Fiction Picture Books - Stories That Inspire To Learn More

   Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy -- hashtag #nfpb2020! Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books! 

        Wishing everyone safety and good health in your lives, family and friends, too. It's a time filled with questions, learning how to adapt to new ways of living. 

         It's wonderful always to read stories of strong women during Women's History Month. Though it's April 1st, I want to share one more book that is not new, but somehow I missed it. What a wonderful, though poignant, too, story of Barbara Jordan.

            I'm old enough to remember Barbara Jordan giving that thunderous speech during the Nixon investigation. I didn't really know her. Knowing politicians, until that time for me, who weren't necessarily in the news so we didn't know them well unless they were from our state. 

           Chris Baron's book about Barbara Jordan makes me want to go back in time to watch what she does in "real" time, not just read her history. I am glad to have read Baron's book, a lovely celebration of this congresswoman's life. She grew up in the Fifth Ward in Houston, even as a young girl she gained attention by reciting poetry in church and memorizing speeches for school. She won a contest and traveled to Chicago, leaving Texas for the first time. Then the wondering began. What would (could) she do with her voice? She worked hard and became a lawyer, but was bored with so much desk work. She looked around, again wanting to use her voice! Thank goodness for the inspiration because she became a politician, “bitten by the political bug”.  Ekua Holmes’s intricate illustrations blend painted background designs with cut-paper collage work, each page having one dominant figure but adding subtle content. For instance, she is pictured in shadow with a mix of campaign buttons and headlines and, as a congresswoman, on television, a realistic view. Sadly, in her fifties, Jordan’s multiple sclerosis leads her to retire from public life and move into education. Her voice has been carried on by those who worked with her and studied under her.
             Baron adds an author's note, a detailed timeline of Jordan's life, a "recommended viewing and reading list." 


  1. I had never really heard of her so I was glad to have this book. We had it on our Mock Caldecott list 2 lists back.
    I saw an [earlier] picture book is coming out about her this year from Simon and Schuster. One of their leveled reader series.

    1. I'm glad to know another book is coming, too, Michele. Thanks for telling me!

  2. Thank you for highlighting my and Ekua's book, Linda. And you're not alone in not knowing Barbara Jordan well -- even here in Texas (my own home state as well as hers), it's been interesting to realize how many teachers at my school visits are not familiar with her prior to my sharing this book with them. I appreciate your help in getting the word out!

    1. You're welcome, Chris, I was glad to find and read your wonderful book, then to share it here. When we have a return to, at least, some normality, I hope more teachers share inspirational lives like Barbara Jordan's, showing students new paths to follow in their own lives. They need to know about her! Thanks for coming by, too!


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