Monday Children’s Book Reviews for February 3, 2014

A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream by Kristy Dempsey

“Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true?they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by.

“But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star.

“In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.”   [JPB DEMPSEY]

A Medal for Leroy by Michael Morpurgo

A Medal for Leroy is inspired by the true story of Walter Tull the first black officer in the British army. Michael doesn’t remember his father. He was an RAF pilot lost in the war, but that’s all Michael knows. And his mother won’t talk about him. But when Michael’s Auntie Snowdrop gives him a medal, and then a faded photograph, a story begins to be told. A secret story about his family and who Michael’s father really was… a story that will change everything.”          [J MORPURGO]

The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield

“Before the Little Rock Nine, before Rosa Parks, before Martin Luther King Jr. and his March on Washington, there was Barbara Rose Johns, a teenager who used nonviolent civil disobedience to draw attention to her cause. In 1951, witnessing the unfair conditions in her racially segregated high school, Barbara Johns led a walkout—the first public protest of its kind demanding racial equality in the U.S.—jumpstarting the American civil rights movement. Ridiculed by the white superintendent and school board, local newspapers, and others, and even after a cross was burned on the school grounds, Barbara and her classmates held firm and did not give up. Her school’s case went all the way to the Supreme Court and helped end segregation as part of Brown v. Board of Education.”   [JB POWELL,B]

Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz

“Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice.

“Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance.

“Together with acclaimed illustrator AG Ford, Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today—that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.”         [JB X,M]

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Filed under Book Reviews, Children, Reading, Union City Library

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