NONFICTION

Elizabeth Warren’s Big, Bold Plans

S. & S./Atheneum. May 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534475809.
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Gr 1-5–Growing up in Norman, OK, young Elizabeth dreamed of becoming a teacher. Excelling at school and the debate team, she honed her skills in research and communication. Although she started college at 16 (having skipped the sixth grade), she finished her teaching degree by mail after getting married. While it seemed like things were on the right track, she lost her teaching job when her employer learned she was pregnant. She took this as an opportunity to pursue a law degree, which increased her passion to help others, especially the poor and disenfranchised. She recalled childhood memories of adversity, including when her father had a heart attack and couldn’t work. Her family was able to survive, but things had changed since she was young. Warren saw the financial inequities that impacted many people and was determined to fix them. She eventually became the first female senator from Massachusetts. The narrative concludes prior to the end of Warren’s presidential run and, although she did not get the nomination, the ending of the book is still hopeful and empowering. Readers are left with the feeling that improving the lives of others is the real goal and running for president is just one path to incite change. Chapman’s lovely watercolor illustrations bring Warren to life throughout the decades. Fans of her beloved golden retriever will be thrilled to spot Bailey in the background. Back matter includes a time line of Warren’s life and political career.
VERDICT A laudatory biography of a leader in contemporary American politics.

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