Author: Watson, Renee
Chronicles the life of poet and activist Maya Angelou.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: .5 Quiz: 520226
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/22)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/22)
Booklist (+) (06/01/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/22)
The Hornbook (00/11/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2022 *Starred Review* Eloquent free verse poems recall pivotal events in the life of Maya Angelou: from a crying baby to tall tales told at her grandmother’s store to books borrowed from the white school; from sexual assault at age seven (referenced as “her mother’s boyfriend / hurt her body, hurt her soul”) to her five years of silence to her recovery through poetry. Angelou, for whom words and voice held powerful meaning, forged a lifelong career as a singer, poet, and author in Harlem, Ghana, and around the world. Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor Book author Watson emphasizes how Angelou used her talents for civil rights and social justice to lift up others and, ultimately, herself. In Collier’s signature collage artwork, color, patterns, and imagery also carry meaning and allude to Angelou’s memoirs. Layered illustrations reinforce the weight of words—and their absence. Perhaps the most evocative image is a large depiction of young Maya’s face, cast in blue and spanning two double-page spreads. Despite the symbolic bars that cage her, in her mind rests a bird waiting to take flight, and her mouth is a bloom waiting to open. A concluding time line sums up many of the highlighted events. This exquisite tribute to one of America’s most influential poets arrives just in time for young people to celebrate Angelou’s appearance on the quarter. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2022 Gr 2–6—This in-depth biography in poems, with unsurpassable watercolor and collage illustrations, begins with Angelou's birth in 1928 and concludes with her delivering a poem at Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration. Readers will gain an understanding of Angelou from her childhood experiences, excerpts of her writing, and adult accomplishments and friendships (with, for example, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X). Though many details of her life story are not included, readers will be curious to learn more about this captivating person. Collier uses a dim blue-gray to reflect negative events and the feelings that accompany them: at times throughout Angelou's life, "Sometimes bad things happen./ Sometimes darkness comes." "Word-seeds" and poetry pull Angelou from her silence so she can make her voice heard, and the colors lighten correspondingly. Angelou moved and traveled frequently, from a San Francisco nightclub to Harlem's Apollo to a market in Accra, Ghana; Collier's striking market scene uses collage to emphasize foods and fabrics. Portraits of Angelou herself show her solemn, thoughtful, and powerful throughout, finally smiling broadly on the final page. Includes a time line, author's note, and illustrator's note. VERDICT Poetic and superbly illustrated, this tour de force belongs in every library.—Jenny Arch - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.