Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing

Tonya Bolden, illus. by Eric Velasquez. HarperCollins, $21.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-06-257204-2
“Listen then to the people who created this country, kept it from disunion, and brought more of its citizens into the fullness of their rights,” invites the foreword (by late journalist Cokie Roberts) of this inspirational collection of speeches. Spanning more than 200 years of U.S. history, from Patrick Henry’s 1775 “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” speech to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 1995 “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights,” most of the orations were fervent pleas for social change and equal rights on behalf of marginalized groups, including African-Americans (Frederick Douglass), women (Sojourner Truth), and migrant farm laborers (César Chavez). Other inclusions, like President Franklin Roosevelt’s, aimed to embolden citizens during difficult socioeconomic times. Velasquez (Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library) provides a striking full-color oil portrait of each orator, preceding the compendium’s true value: Bolden’s (Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl) contextualization. Bordered by colorful concentric speech bubbles and circles, prologues by Bolden anchor each speech within a historical framework and offer biographical details (e.g., Sojourner Truth renamed herself after escaping from enslavement). A wending timeline concludes this resource, which will resonate with its themes of social justice, political discord, and courage. Ages 8–up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 05/13/2020
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-0-06-296024-5
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-06-257205-9
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