Releases June 9, 2020.
(McElderry/Simon & Schuster) | Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.
Publisher’s Weekly September 10, 2019
Junior Library Guild Selection 2020
Patricia Reads the Book and Discusses Ella Baker
Learn about the civil rights activist Ella Baker in this informative, lyrical picture book from Sibert Honor winner Patricia Hruby Powell and Caldecott Honor winner R. Gregory Christie.
“What do you hope to accomplish?” asked Ella Baker’s granddaddy when she was still a child.
Her mother provided the answer: “Lift as you climb.”
Long before the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, Ella Baker worked to lift others up by fighting racial injustice and empowering poor African Americans to stand up for their rights. Her dedication and grassroots work in many communities made her a valuable ally for leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and she has been ranked as one of the most influential women in the civil rights movement. In the 1960s she worked to register voters and organize sit-ins, and she became a teacher and mentor to many young activists. For Ella, the spotlight wasn’t as important as asking the people around her: “What do you hope to accomplish?”
2021 Rise: Feminist Book Project (an affiliate of ALA and ALSCA): Early Readers – Nonfiction pick
“A beautiful book and a welcome addition to the picture-book–biography shelf.”
– Kirkus Review 5/15/2020
“the question ‘What do you hope to accomplish?’ tolls like a bell throughout the narrative.”
– Booklist 6/1/2020, Starred Review
“…In this stunning biography in verse…kids are invited to consider how they, too, will lift others up.”
– A Mighty Girl 6/3/2020
“powerful biography of a caring and determined unsung hero”
– Picture Book Buzz with Maria Marshall 6/5/2020
“powerful message…readers might imagine themselves in Baker’s shoes…finding a cause they believe in and dedicating themselves to it.”
– The News-Gazette 7/19/2020
“The relaxed pacing, absence of quotation marks, and natural line breaks ensure a smooth read-aloud.”
– Hornbook July/August 2020
“A highly informative picture book biography that captures the determination and strength of an influential civil rights leader and adds to students’ understanding of the civil rights movement.”
– School Library Journal August 2020
“a quick microcosm of much of the civil rights movement…Recommended”
– Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books June 2020
“powerful pictures pair with Patricia Hruby Powell’s poignant words to paint a vivid portrait”
Interviews and Blogs
The Picture Book Buzz – Interview with Patricia Hruby Powell
– Maria Marshall 7/17/2020
Friend Friday – “How long does it take to write a book?”
– Kirby Larson 7/31/2020
Kate Hannigan asks: How are you able to convey such vitality on the page?
– Author Of… 8/9/2020
Weekend Daybreak interview with Meghan Whitlock
– WAND-TV 9/6/2020
Picture Booking Podcast (5:45-8:05)
– Picture Booking 9/6/2020
Constable: White author learned early how Black lives matter
– Arlington Heights Daily Herald 7/18/2020