cover image Thurgood


Jonah Winter, illus. by Bryan Collier. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5247-6533-0

Excellent storytelling in word and image unite in this essential biography of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993). In percussive text that combines the pacing of a courtroom recital with plainspoken accessibility, Winter covers essential anecdotes in Marshall’s life, including his arrest as a 15-year-old for defending himself from a bigot and his rejection from the University of Maryland. These hammer home the realities of existence in a segregated U.S., and the injustices Marshall saw and fought in the great, ongoing battles for a fair and just society. Repeated capitalized words (Fact, Justice, Verdict) punctuate “the facts of his case,” building narrative urgency that carries through Marshall’s win in Brown v. Board of Education and culminates in his ascent to Supreme Court justice. Collier’s watercolor collages with subtly visible seams reflect the deep complexities of lives shaped by a fractured society, representing multifaceted experience, deep emotion, and irresistible forward motion. The author’s note states that this short volume “cannot possibly convey the magnitude of his legacy.” But Winter and Collier have created a catalyst that will inspire readers to learn more about this giant of American history. Ages 5–9. [em](Sept.) [/em]