Witness momentous events through the eyes of a 9-year-old in Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop (Calkins Creek, $17.98). Based on teacher Almella Starks-Umoja’s personal recollections, fictional protagonist Lorraine describes her family’s experiences at home, at church, and on the march after the deaths of two sanitation workers lead to a strike, boycotts, protests—and even more tragedy. One day after giving his stirring “Mountaintop” speech in Memphis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. R. Gregory Christie’s acrylic-gouache paintings heighten Alice Faye Duncan’s fresh perspective on this epoch, with bold colors and dynamic compositions reminiscent of Jacob Lawrence. Ages 9-12.
Delve into What Do You Do With A Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (Beach Lane, $17.99). Jordan was an outspoken advocate for justice and equality, had an unwavering faith in the Constitution, and genuinely believed people could work together to form a “national community.” With vibrant illustrations by artist Ekua Holmes and powerful storytelling by Chris Barton, this picture book brings Jordan’s voice back to life and provides inspiration for readers of all ages. Ages 8-12.
“We may not have documents but we all have a story and we all have a name.” So begins the narrative of Juan, who travels across the US border with a coyote (smuggler) to fi nd a job. While working as a busboy, he learns that he and his fellow workers make less than half the minimum wage. Juan risks everything to stand up for justice. Duncan Tonatiuh has created a graphic novel rendered in an accordion-fold format reminiscent of ancient Mixtec codices that searingly portrays what it means to be Undocumented (Abrams Comicarts, $19.99). Ages 12-17.