What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

Chris Barton, illus. by Ekua Holmes. Beach Lane, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4814-6561-8
Barton presents a timely, lyrical celebration of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. As a child growing up in the Fifth Ward in Houston, she commanded attention through her powerful voice (“What’s the next thing you do with a voice like that?”). Jordan’s intellectual curiosity and desire to be civically engaged led her to become a lawyer, then a politician, “to make change from within.” Holmes’s dramatic compositions blend painterly forms with layered, cut-paper collage work, displaying brilliant jewel tones and eye-catching patterns; the book's subject is pictured speaking on the Senate floor and, as a congresswoman, on television. Jordan’s multiple sclerosis, Barton explains, eventually led her to step away from public life and into education, but her voice, Barton concludes, is honored “by making our own voices heard.” Ages 4–8. (Sept.)

Correction: A previous version of this review misstated Jordan’s name.

Reviewed on: 09/10/2018
Release date: 11/06/2018
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