Friday, June 2, 2017

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist by Philip Dray & illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

My thoughts:  A well-done picture book biography for young children that is especially good for teaching the period of history associated with the emancipation proclamation. It will encourage African-Americans to discover their heritage and it will enlighten all children in America's history and those who shaped it.

The author generously provides a narrative that is somewhat extensive for a picture book and yet the illustrations are abundant so that young readers and reluctant older readers can learn of Ida B. Wells. The topic is a bit heavy for typical picture book readers and perhaps might be best read to or by older middle elementary age students because the subject of lynching is articulated as well as social injustices.

Illustrated using a style somewhat cubist, the colors and actions depicted in the art work tell the story well and fit well with the text.

As a freed slaved and crusading journalist she was, as a woman and as an African-American woman, a real pioneer in the field of social injustices and employment of a woman as a teacher and also as a journalist.

This is a good book for elementary libraries and would be quite informative for studies on the Emancipation Proclamation.

About the book: In 1863, when Ida B. Wells was not yet two years old, the Emancipation Proclamation freed her from the bond of slavery. For her family and others like them, it was a time of renewed faith in America's promise of freedom and justice for all. Blessed with a strong will, an eager mind, and a deep belief in this promise, young Ida never turned away from the challenges she faced.

She insisted on holding her family together after the death of her parents. She defied convention and went to court when a railroad company infringed on her rights. And she used her position as a journalist to speak out about injustice.

But Ida's greatest challenge arose after one of her friends was lynched. How could one headstrong young woman help free America from the shadow of lawlessness that loomed over the country?

Author Philip Dray tells the inspirational story of Ida B. Wells, from her birth into a slave family in Mississippi and her early encounters with racism to her lifelong commitment to end injustice. Award-winning illustrator Stephen Alcorn's remarkable illustrations recreate the tensions that threatened to upend a nation a century ago while paying tribute to a courageous American hero.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Peachtree Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

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