Superheroes Are Everywhere

HARRIS, Kamala. illus. by Mechal Renee Roe. 40p. chron. photos. Philomel. Jan. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984837493.
K-Gr 2—Harris (the first woman of South Asian descent and second woman of African American descent to serve as a U.S. Senator) examines the people and values that shaped her life from childhood onwards. Each spread proclaims something about heroes, e.g. "Heroes are kind," shows an example of an everyday hero from Harris's life, and asks readers directly about people in their own lives, e.g. "Who is kind to you?" Cheerful illustrations show a brown-skinned, puffy-pigtailed young Harris with heroes like her first grade teacher, and then older versions attending Howard University or standing in front of the U.S Capitol. The tone is optimistic and the focus is on individual goals like following one's dreams, pursuing higher education, and treating others well. There are very brief mentions of fighting systemic injustices, as when Harris describes the attorneys she admires. These mentions raise more questions than they answer, and readers will have to look elsewhere to learn why, for instance, India was once not a free country, or what exactly Constance Baker Motley argued for in court. Charming endpapers feature family photographs of Harris and the everyday heroes, and back matter includes a "hero code" pledge for children to follow and a time line of Harris's life.
VERDICT This title may be useful for units on character education, women's history, or African American history, or for families curious about the Democratic Party nominee for President.

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