cover image Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens

Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens

Nina Nolan, illus. by John Holyfield. HarperCollins/Amistad, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-087944-0

Hailing from New Orleans, Jackson was “born with nothing” but a voice that would carry her from singing in church services and on porch stoops to the March on Washington, where her vocal performance preceded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Holyfield’s lavish acrylics express Jackson’s vitality as she belts out songs, whether in church or working as a maid. Moments of fear are conveyed with equal power, showing a young Jackson huddled to keep warm in an unwelcoming Chicago cityscape, which are rendered in murky grays and icy blues. After her move to the city, Jackson continues to sing in churches throughout the South, eventually recording a gospel album, becoming a celebrity, and performing at Carnegie Hall at age 38. An uplifting tribute to an artist of uncommon talent and determination. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)