50 Trailblazers of the 50 States

Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions. Nov. 2019. 112p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781786039675.
Gr 7 Up–The trailblazers profiled in this book are a refreshing collection of people who have made a difference on a local and national scale. Readers will immediately understand the significance of game-changers like Hawaii-born President Obama and Kentucky native Muhammad Ali but may not recognize names like Dale Lee, who led the 2018 teachers’ strike in West Virginia, and Marjorie van Vliet, a world peace advocate from Rhode Island. Some have been in the news as recently as Floridian and Parkland survivor Emma González. Others are from the past, like South Carolina sisters and abolition and women’s rights advocates Sarah and Angelina Grimké. No matter who has been chosen from each state, the book explains their background, their contributions, and how their work continues to make a difference. The information presented is just enough to pique readers’ interest and could stimulate further research. The causes represented in the book include civil rights, animal rights, workers’ rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. A glossary is included after the spread about each person. Lossing’s drawings are vibrant and will make a lasting impression on readers.
VERDICT This is a worthwhile addition to any middle grade biography section. An informative and entertaining read.

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