Tag Archives: biography

Review! Muhammad Ali by Gene Barretta #BlackHistoryMonth

15 Feb

aliMuhammad Ali: A Champion is Born
Written by Gene Barretta
Illustrated by Frank Morrison
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 3, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- In this picture book biography of Muhammad Ali, author Gene Barretta and illustrator Frank Morrison tell the unforgettable childhood story of this legendary boxing champion and how one pivotal moment set him on his path to become the Greatest of All Time.

The Louisville Lip. The Greatest. The People’s Champion. Muhammad Ali had many nicknames. But before he became one of the most recognizable faces in the world, before the nicknames and the championships, before he converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali, he was twelve-year-old Cassius Clay riding a brand-new red-and-white bicycle through the streets of Louisville, Kentucky. One fateful day, this proud and bold young boy had that bike stolen, his prized possession, and he wouldn’t let it go. Not without a fight.

This would be the day he discovered boxing. And a champion was born.

What I Thought- Gene Barretta really knows how to write a picture book biography. He’s written books about other historical figures, including Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin. He handles this book fabulously, showing how Ali goes from Cassius Clay, a young boy who knows nothing about boxing, into Muhammad Ali, world champion. It was also nice that Barretta didn’t just focus on Ali’s path to boxing – he also showcased Ali’s civil work against segregation. This is a good book that shows someone working hard to achieve a goal, accomplishing that goal, and then helping others – kids will learn a lot from the book. There is a spread in the back talking about the life of Ali in more detail, including why he changed his name, and more about his civil work. The book is illustrated by Frank Morrison, who does a really good job at portraying the time period and capturing the essence of the people in the book. This is a great reading choice for Black History Month, seeing as Ali is a good role model all around and today’s kids should know about this great man. I really enjoy these picture book biographies by Barretta, and can’t wait to see more!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Fannie Never Flinched by Mary Cronk Farrell

9 Dec

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a neat tale of a lady most people don’t know about, but should.

fannieFannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights
By Mary Cronk Farrell
56 pages – ages 8+

Published by Harry N. Abrams on November 1, 2016

Theme/Topic- Social Work/Justice

Genre- Noniction/Biography

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Near suppertime, gunshots echoed among the small frame houses of Natrona, Pennsylvania. People ran out to see what was happening.

Synopsis from Publisher: “Fannie Sellins (1872–1919) lived during the Gilded Age of American Industrialization, when the Carnegies and Morgans wore jewels while their laborers wore rags. Fannie dreamed that America could achieve its ideals of equality and justice for all, and she sacrificed her life to help that dream come true. Fannie became a union activist, helping to create St. Louis, Missouri, Local 67 of the United Garment Workers of America. She traveled the nation and eventually gave her life, calling for fair wages and decent working and living conditions for workers in both the garment and mining industries. Her accomplishments live on today. This book includes an index, glossary, a timeline of unions in the United States, and end notes.

What I Thought- This is a really neat nonfiction biography of a lady who fought for equality for all. It is a great resource for children and teachers looking for an introduction on working for social justice. The book is written in a kid-friendly way that explains the horrible conditions the workers faced during this period in history. It is such an excellent read – making it easy to digest and understand. The story is set up in the sections of Ms. Sellins’ life, and has real pictures/posters from the era the book is about. This is a well-organized biography that kids will enjoy reading.

Activities and Resources- The book is a resource itself, with end notes and other information included.

Explorepahistory.com has a nice biography of Ms. Sellins HERE if you want more information.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

%d bloggers like this: