Review of Loud and Proud: The Life of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm

The Life of Congresswoman Shirley ChisholmLoud and Proud: The Life of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm
by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. by Kaylani Juanita
Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp.
9/23    9781534463523    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781534463530    $10.99

Born in 1924 Brooklyn to immigrant parents (from Guyana and Barbados) who worked in low-wage jobs, Chisholm was attuned from a young age to the social and economic inequities around her. After a discussion of Chisholm’s early years (she excelled academically), Cline-Ransome focuses her picture-book biography on Chisholm’s illustrious and groundbreaking career, which included winning a seat in the New York State Assembly and election to Congress, where she served seven terms. Following her historic though unsuccessful presidential bid, she continued to pursue her fight for affordable childcare, access to education, and a living wage. Describing Chisholm as “small, but she talked big, walked tall, and told just about everybody what to do,” Cline-Ransome highlights her subject’s “loud and proud” and determined personality, often incorporating Chisholm’s own words into the narrative. Juanita’s digitally rendered illustrations are energetic and strikingly portray person and purpose, especially in the wordless double-page spread of Chisholm standing poised to begin her first term in Congress against a vivid backdrop of fireworks and the U.S. Capitol building. Pair with Bolden’s Speak Up, Speak Out! (rev. 3/22), Williams’s Shirley Chisholm Dared (rev. 9/21), and Russell-Brown’s She Was the First (rev. 11/20).

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Pauletta Brown Bracy
Pauletta Brown Bracy is professor of library science at North Carolina Central University. She is chair of the 2015-2017 Coretta Scott King Book Awards committee and serves on the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards committee.

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