cover image A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth

A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth

Christina Soontornvat, illus. by Dow Phumiruk. Candlewick, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-536-22205-0

A Thai American creative team collaborates on this biography of Senator Tammy Duckworth, which emphasizes the duality of military service and public service. Born in Bankok, Duckworth “is an American citizen who grew up traveling all over Southeast Asia.” Her father’s job working for the United Nations meant that “the family was never far from the echoes of war,” and visiting refugee camps with her dad, she envisioned “serving America by helping those in need.” Job loss took the family to Hawaii, where they experienced financial precarity, but teenage Duckworth “was determined to soar at school” while helping to keep her family fed. After college and graduate school, her military service as a Black Hawk pilot ended when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq. Recovery from significant injuries pivoted her to politics representing Illinois, first in the House then in the Senate. Soontornvat’s prose and Phumiruk’s scenes of war, rehabilitation, and public service balance bravery with personal sacrifice. Back matter includes a timeline. Ages 5–9. (Sept.)