|Nina : a story of Nina Simone|
Author: Todd, Traci N.
A picture book biography of Nina Simone, an acclaimed singer whose music gave voice to the struggle for racial equality during the Civil Rights Movement.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 512902
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, 2022
School Library Journal (+) (11/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2021 *Starred Review* Nina Simone’s beauty and talent is given prominent expression by multiaward-winning Robinson in this picture-book biography. With artwork highlighting the musician’s profile, Robinson emphasizes Simone’s noble stature as a musician who combined her love of classical music with church standards and jazz to create a unique style that soared to prominence alongside her dedication to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Often shown facing her piano, whether on her father’s lap or at Carnegie Hall, the woman born as Eunice Kathleen Waymon is always foremost in the images, while Todd’s prose eloquently tells her story from childhood to fame. Woven through the narrative is Simone’s lifelong awareness of the injustices Black Americans faced, from watching her parents forced out of the front row to make room for a white couple during a childhood recital in her hometown to learning from prominent friends about the tumult and violence faced by Black people in the south as the movement for equality gained steam. Robinson’s illustrations subtly portray the subject’s transformation, particularly in her clothes, which gradually move from more subdued dresses to her bold, colorful, and Afrocentric signature style. In her end material, Todd provides additional biographical details for readers interested in gleaning more about the renowned woman. A worthy biography for all collections and especially for those that serve music-loving children. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2021 Gr 2–6—This book begins with a little girl, Nina Simone, who has a gift and a passion for music, whether gospel, jazz, or classical. As Simone grows up, she begins to notice more inequities and injustices. Her anger grows, and the focus of the book shifts to issues of the civil rights movement and Simone's role within it. Discussions of racism and resistance are undertaken with a skillful hand, not exceeding the tone or maturity level appropriate for young readers. Robinson's jewel-tone artwork is colorful, engaging, and complements Todd's lyrical text, supporting comprehension and revealing additional details about the time. For example, in one of the opening images, the subject's mother is hanging up laundry while chickens peck around baby Nina in a basket. The character's expressive faces add another dimension that will leave kids much to ponder. This is especially notable in a scene between two families who are segregated, where everyone is hurt by this unjust separation. This title would support curricular units on civil rights, biography, theme, and identity. Back matter includes more details about the artist's life and her relationship to the civil rights movement. VERDICT An excellent and magnetic biography, this book is highly recommended in all elementary collections and should be considered for libraries serving older students.—Christina Salazar, Mesquite I.S.D., TX - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.