|Making their voices heard : the inspiring friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe|
Author: Kirkfield, Vivian
The inspiring, true story of two incredibly talented women who came together to help each other shine.
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/20)
School Library Journal (12/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2019 K-Gr 3—African American singer Ella Fitzgerald and blonde movie star Marilyn Monroe shared their need to be heard and helped each other along the way. Kirkfield describes the obstacles these women faced: Fitzgerald battled racism, and Monroe was underestimated due to her gender. Monroe taught herself to become a better singer by listening to recordings of Fitzgerald's songs and achieved star status for her role in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In turn, she convinced the owner of a formerly whitesonly Hollywood night club to hire Fitzgerald, paving the way for the jazz singer's more universal recognition. The relatively simple text is supported by an author's note and extensive sources, both primary (videos and interviews) and secondary (books and online resources). Kirkfield makes clear that both women brought deep personal feelings to their performances. Harris's digital illustrations are varied, from vignettes to full and doublepage spreads. One striking spread echoed on the title page and cover shows the pair still engaged in conversation in an otherwise empty and darkened nightclub. VERDICT An inspiring story about 20th-century icons that will be unfamiliar to most young readers. Recommended for schools and public libraries.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2020 “Sometimes even stars need a little help to shine.” Focusing on the friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, this picture book highlights the similarities between the two women and the ways in which they helped each other succeed. The author alternates between the two stars, first sharing their discovery stories and then their struggles to overcome barriers. When Marilyn was given her first major singing role in a movie, she learned how to sing by immersing herself in Ella’s music. After the movie’s success, she sought out Ella to thank her in person, and a lifelong friendship began. After learning about the racial discrimination Ella faced, Marilyn used her influence to secure her a singing engagement at Hollywood’s top nightclub. The text moves smoothly, though the use of girls to describe the women may raise eyebrows. Softly focused illustrations blend cartoon style with realism. The overall effect is slightly uneven but generally captures each woman’s likeness. Back matter includes an author’s note and primary and secondary sources. A solid purchase for larger collections. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.