Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change

Quirk. (Kid Legends: Bk. 6). Sept. 2019. 224p. bibliog. index. Tr $13.95. ISBN 9781683691419.
Gr 4-7–The latest installment in the “Kid Legends” series continues to make the stories of important figures accessible to a new audience. Stevenson highlights many figures for whom there are few youth resources available, including Janet Mock, James Baldwin, and Autumn Peltier, as well as names that often appear on juvenile biography shelves, like Alexander Hamilton and Rosa Parks. Stevenson does not shy away from topics such as racism, homophobia, or transphobia and uses plain language and simple descriptions to examine the oppression and discrimination the activists faced in their youth. Steinfeld’s illustrations on nearly every page complement each chapter, making this an excellent choice for fans of illustrated series like Julie Falatko’s “Two Dogs in a Trench Coat” or Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” who may not otherwise have interest in nonfiction.
VERDICT This title shines because it does not obscure the inequalities that make activism necessary. The vivid details of each activist’s story, combined with vibrant illustrations, demonstrate that every civil rights hero and popular firebrand started out as a child, just like the rest of us. For fans of other installment in the series, and for those who enjoy Ken Jennings’s “Junior Genius Guides” and the “Who Is/Who Was” biography series

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