The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice

Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Laura Freeman. Random House Studio, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-30650-5

Interspersing direct quotations throughout, Weatherford offers a thoughtful biography of Black civil rights advocate and congressman Elijah Cummings (1951–2019), who represented Maryland’s seventh congressional district from 1996 until his death. This thorough profile traces formative influences in Cummings’s life in straightforward prose, from former sharecropper parents who moved the family to Maryland (“They had faith that God was leading them to a place where their children would have a better chance in life”) to supportive librarians and employers who assisted Cummings along his journey toward becoming an influential lawyer, politician, and advocate for social justice. Freeman’s stylized, photorealistic art, rendered digitally in a bold color palette, emphasizes interpersonal communication in clear vignettes, immersing readers in this edifying survey of Cummings’s life and the events that shaped him from childhood. Front matter includes 2019 remarks by Nancy Pelosi; back matter includes a timeline, bibliography, and quote sources. Ages 6–9. (Jan.)