|Lift as you climb : the story of Ella Baker|
Author: Powell, Patricia Hruby
A picture book about the life of civil rights activist Ella Baker.
|Illustrator:||Christie, R. Gregory|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 509569
Kirkus Reviews (05/15/20)
School Library Journal (08/01/20)
Booklist (+) (06/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/20)
The Hornbook (00/07/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2020 *Starred Review* Born in 1903, Ella Baker grew up on her grandparents’ North Carolina farm, where they’d once labored as slaves. There she learned to listen to others, to help people in need, and to “lift as you climb.” From her grandfather’s church pulpit, she heard the resounding question, “What do you hope to accomplish?” After college, Baker worked for the NAACP and SCLC. She gradually became a significant figure in the civil rights movement, challenging its leaders on occasion, speaking up for women within the movement, focusing on issues such as voting rights, and always listening at the grassroots level. She helped plan the Freedom Rides, and she advised and befriended many young activists throughout her career. In the striking gouache paintings, Christie uses strong lines and vibrant colors to recreate scenes from Baker’s life and times, while expressing the leader’s dignity, empathy, and determination. Repeatedly referencing Baker’s childhood lessons, Powell’s free-verse text conveys the importance of Ella Baker as a strong-minded woman working purposefully outside the limelight and making a significant difference within the civil rights movement. The question “What do you hope to accomplish?” tolls like a bell through the narrative, underscoring Baker’s driving sense of purpose. As the book’s closing line, the question challenges readers as well. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2020 Gr 4–7—Ella Baker (1903–86) was raised by the children of parents who were previously enslaved. From an early age, her parents told her she had the potential to change the world. She learned to listen to others and use what she heard for good. Throughout her life, she committed herself to standing up for human rights, always asking herself and others, "What do I hope to accomplish?" No matter the persecution or struggles she faced, Baker always rose above, lifting others with her as she climbed. This lyrical biography provides insight into the life of a member of the civil rights movement, creating connections between her work and modern times. Fears and obstacles are honestly depicted, as are injustice and violence. Christie's detailed illustrations are visceral. The artwork shows a Black man being beaten by two white police officers, Black youth imprisoned for peaceful protests, and buses burning after being firebombed. Some prior knowledge of Black American history is required to fully appreciate this book; terms such as emancipation and Negroes are used without explanation or context. Supplemental information detailing the purposes of different organizations Baker was affiliated with, as well as a time line of her life, provides clarity. The messages encouraging all people of color to vote and take their places in the government come through strong and clear. VERDICT A highly informative picture book biography that captures the determination and strength of an influential civil rights leader and adds to students' understanding of the civil rights movement.—Emily Beasley, Omaha Public Sch., NE - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.