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Review of Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad

Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy; illus. by Beatriz Vidal; with excerpts from Versos sencillos by José Martí; trans. into Spanish by Adriana Domínguez Primary    Children’s/Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 7/17    978-0-89239-375-6    $17.95 “I come from every place, / And I’m on the road to everywhere: / I […]

Review of Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton

Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton by Sherri Duskey Rinker; illus. by John Rocco Primary    Houghton    48 pp. 9/17    978-0-544-71557-8    $17.99 Beloved author-illustrator Virginia Lee Burton receives a picture-book biography treatment, but not the standard childhood-to-adulthood story. We meet Virginia, known as Jinnee, when she is already the mother of two boys who […]

Review of Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Eric Velasquez Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8046-6    $16.99 Growing up in Puerto Rico, Arturo Schomburg (1874–1938) asked his teachers why his textbooks omitted black people. He knew their contributions mattered, and ravenously read to learn more. At seventeen, Schomburg […]

Review of Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became 
the Strongest Man on Earth

Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became 
the Strongest Man on Earth by Don Tate; illus. by the author Primary    Charlesbridge    40 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-628-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-886-3    $9.99 The life of Eugen Sandow (1867–1925), a Victorian-era bodybuilding superstar dubbed “the Modern Hercules,” is rife with mystery. Not only did his family destroy his […]

Review of Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México

Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México by Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Abrams    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-4197-2532-6    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-68335-110-8    $15.54 Tonatiuh (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15) tells the story of Amalia Hernández (1917–2000), founder of Mexico’s most famous dance company, El Ballet […]

Review of Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin; illus. by Evan Turk Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-4349-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4350-0    $10.99 McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield (1915–1983) is known for his role in establishing the musical genre known as the “Chicago blues.” This picture-book biography begins with his childhood in […]

Review of Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire

Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville; illus. by Brigette Barrager Primary    Atheneum    48 pp. 8/17    978-1-4814-6131-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6132-0    $10.99 From an early age, artist and designer Mary Blair (1911–1978) “collected colors of every shade and every hue.” In 1940, the […]

Review of Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm

Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy; illus. by Matt Collins Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3665-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3825-9    $16.95 Bitter cold, fatigue, leg cramps, driftwood obstacles, jellyfish stings, threats of shark attacks — it’s the rare individual who would risk […]

Review of The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano

The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch; illus. by Marjorie Priceman Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 4/17    978-1-4814-4484-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4485-9    $10.99 Readers take a journey to Italy during the closing years of the Renaissance to meet a man whose invention is better known than his […]

Review of Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney; illus. by Keith Mallett Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-62014-260-8    $19.95 One of the most memorable visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance was photographer James VanDerZee. In a picture-book biography that follows VanDerZee from his childhood interest in photography to his […]