cover image Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune

Milton Meltzer. Viking Children's Books, $11.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-670-80744-4

One of 17 children born to former slaves, Bethune made the most of her life, creating opportunities for herself and other black people. This addition to the Women of Our Times series is an admiring, factual account of her achievements: founder of what later became Bethune-Cookman College; advocate for blacks during the New Deal; organizer, spokeswoman and visionary leader. Though Meltzer said more about the private life of his subject in Dorothea Lange: Life Through the Camera, he is characteristically good at sketching a historical context. Against the background of racial violence in the early 1900s, he states, ""Mary Bethune's struggle for decent education and equality appears heroic.'' (7-11)