Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we pause and give a bookish nod to African-American History month as we celebrate with some fabulous titles from Chronicle Books. The ever-fabulous Lara contacted me late last month to make sure we had all the goodies we'd need to make it memorable, and I must say...I've enjoyed reading these wonderful selections and learning about the remarkable people featured that left their mark on our collective history.
There's a little something for everyone as we traipse through time. We Are the Change gives us words of inspiration from civil rights leaders. Libba shares the inspiring story of folk singer Libba Cotten, who wrote the classic song "Freight Train" when she was only 13. Marvelous Cornelius opens to window on the true story of a trash collector who lifted the spirits of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Loving vs. Virginia tells it's story in verse about the young couple behind the landmark Supreme Court Case that legalized marriage between races. The fourth title is one that I simply couldn't let pass me by...although the winds caused by its incredible speed would leave anyone breathless! Ladies and gents, I give you today's book of choice...
Pat Zietlow Miller
It's the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She'll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn't matter that Alta's shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid?
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This is the story of Alta and how she so badly wanted the title of "quickest kid in Clarksville" to be her own, and discovers that sometimes it's not about who wins the race, but how well it was run.
She's the "queen" of her block (yet still humble) when it comes to running and she has dreams of being the next Wilma Rudolph, but when the new kid with the shiny new running shoes comes along strutting her stuff, there's a falter in her step. She can't help it...those shoes are to die for, but her attitude is not. She sets about setting her straight, and while not everything turns out as expected, in the end she gains a new understanding of what it means to be the best...and a new friend.
The artwork is wonderful, placing us right in the story as we too pound out the beat with our feet as we run like the wind. The words transport us back to a time when segregation still existed and the voices of those wanting a change to come about were still hard to discern...but what a change it was. It reminds us that every step towards our goal is one worth taking. The path to our own personal greatness was never said to be easy, but it is much more easily traveled with friends by our side. A great glimpse into the past while encouraging a brighter future for one and all...and a great pick (among many!) for your reading selections this or any month with added educational value at books end!
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Special thanks to Lara at Chronicle Books for the chance to bring these titles to you as well as the ecopy for review. (THANKS!) For more information or to snag a copy of your own, feel free to click through the links included above.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!