Review of the Week

hand-in-handPinkney, Andrea Davis. Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America. Brian Pinkney, Illus. Non-fic.  Disney/Jump at the Sun, 2012. 244p. $19.99.  978-1-4231-4257-7.  OUTSTANDING.   GRADES 5-8.

In this collective biography, the author celebrates ten African-American men of achievement, from Benjamin Banneker to Barack Obama. Arranged chronologically, the other subjects are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Each segment (approx. 20 pages in length), gives quite a bit of detail on each individual and will both inform and inspire young readers and work as a resource for reports. The narrative is distinctive with rich imagery and a preacher’s cadence, focusing on the subject’s triumphs, but weaknesses of an individual are also described. Unfortunately, each subject is referred to by his first name throughout each segment. Embellishments for each chapter include an original poem about the person, a portrait, and a few scattered watercolor illustrations done in Pinkney’s distinctive style.

Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ, SLIS

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