Freedom! The Story of the Black Panther Party

Levine Querido. Jan. 2022. 384p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781646140930.
Gr 7 Up–Bloom and Martin (Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party) collaborate with newcomer Grace to bring young readers a well-researched account of the Black Panther Party. Focusing on the founding members, they present a flowing narrative that begins with the origins of Huey Newton and Bobby Seale and concludes with the group’s downfall and legacy. The party’s leaders, teachings, and programs are depicted clearly and matter-of-factly. The accessible language, stirring archival photos, powerful anecdotes will plunge readers into the midst of the history. The authors deftly set the scene and provide context; teens will fully understand the world the organization was born into. Perhaps not as visually interesting as Kekla Magoon’s Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People, this volume takes a more straightforward approach and provides enough varying information and different presentation to justify a purchase. Arresting chapter headings, the use of wide margins, and lots of block text and quotations make this just as engrossing as Magoon’s text. Both titles are must-haves and would benefit from being placed on the same shelves and displays.
VERDICT Impeccable writing and stellar design make this title highly recommended.

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