port of harlem magazine
paranormal sagas
Children Book Reviews with Children
Dec 01 – Dec 14, 2022
shirley chisholm book

I thought my 13-year-old grand-niece, Zaria, would have issues with the differences in the reading levels of “Speak Up, Speak Out! The Extraordinary Life of Fighting Shirley Chisholm” by Tonya Bolden (ages 10-14) and “National Geographic Readers: Stacey Abrams” by Melissa H. Mwai (ages 5-8). Instead, during our discussion after she read both books, she revealed that she embraced the content.

“She took a risk” to run for president, especially following the murder of John Kennedy, she said of Chisholm. “It makes me feel like I can take risk, too,” she surmised. My adult instincts were wrong. I also thought Zaria would bristle at the harsh realities and details presented in the Chisholm book.
The book on Abrams speaks about how she was mistreated because of her skin color, for example, when she and other top students were visiting the governor. She was initially stopped by a guard. That incident, however, became her inspiration to run for school vice president.

Zaria was also impressed how Abrams spoke up in high school. “She actually did say something about it,” explained Zaria, who is named for the Nigerian city. She realizes that “we would not be a far as we are today,” if it was not for Abram’s simple act.

Zaria’s younger, second cousins also had interesting thoughts after reading “You Are Not Alone” by Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Shepherd. With her sister Arielle, grand-niece Autumn said she most remembers “people have unique qualities which makes them special.” The book shares the message that you are not alone, you belong, and as a community we have a responsibility to stand up for each other and use our voices against hate. The book also has a music video.
See more children book reviews in the next issue of Port Of Harlem magazine; subscriptions are still free.

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