K-Gr 3—This empowering picture book explains that "Standing up is a powerful thing." Readers are reminded that when they first learned to stand, their view of the world changed. Standing up for what one believes can also be a shift in perspective and can take many forms. Some, like Claudette Colvin, stood up for their beliefs by sitting down. Phillis Wheatley stood up by picking up her pen. All ten of the Black women and girls in this book chose to speak out, act on their convictions, and resist the pressure to sit down and be quiet in the face of what they saw to be unjust. Mixed-media illustrations capture the spirit of each iconic heroine and include historically accurate clothing and hairstyles. The background colors used when the young girl being addressed is shown are particularly energetic oranges and pinks. One vivid image shows that young girl with all ten figures gathered behind her to emphasize the statement, "When you stand up for what you believe, you don't stand alone." Cooper explains in an author's note that Rosa Parks was her inspiration as a child and that she wants to help young Black girls learn to shine. This book could be a gift book to young girls, or used as a read-aloud to kick off a study of strong Black women throughout history. VERDICT Vibrantly illustrated and featuring a variety of justice-seekers, this book belongs in every library and classroom.
My review originally appeared in School Library Journal.
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