Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blog Tour: Heroes of Black History: Biographies of Four Great Americans by the Editors of Time for Kids

Just in time for Black History Month 2018, Time for Kids has published a book spotlighting four heroes of black history from Harriet Tubman, to Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and, of course, Barack Obama. Each one of these courageous Americans has contributed so much in the fight for social justice for African Americans, and in fact, for all persons of color.

 Each 40 page biography begins with a look at the person's childhood, influences of family and school that helped them become who they were/are. Each section also contains a mix of photographs and illustrations as well as maps and inserts with additional information to give a more depth to each person's achievements, and ends with a two page recap of important dated in their lives. Heroes of Black History is ideal for readers in middle school, and the large print and clear sentences makes this an especially good book for older reluctant readers.

Young readers will learn about what an important part of the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman was, and how, in the first half of the 1800s, she led over 300 slaves to freedom, risking her own life each time. Later, during the Civil War, Harriet worked tirelessly caring for injured Union soldiers, and, at the same time, continuing to help free more than 800 slaves. Harriet is truly an inspiring and audacious hero for kids.

Jackie Robinson was not just a great athlete, but also a groundbreaking African American. First, in the US Army during WWII when he stood up for what was right, even facing a court martial for not giving up his seat on a military bus after the army was desegregated. Later, Jackie became the first African American to play on a major league team when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Imagine how much courage it must have taken in the face of all the discrimination and prejudice Jackie had to deal with in his fight for social justice.

Rosa Parks probably never imagined how much her life would change the day she refused to give up her seat on a city bus in 1955 in segregated Montgomery, Alabama. Despite fear, Rosa also believed in fighting for what was right and she was tired of living a life of separate and unequal. Rosa's arrest led to the famous bus boycott in Montgomery when working people refused to ride city buses to their jobs in solidarity with Rosa. After buses were desegregated almost a year later, Rosa spent the rest of her life working for social justice for African Americans. Rosa is an inspiring example of how one person can really make a difference.

Even before he was elected our first African American president, Barack Obama has spent his adult
life serving people. First, as a community organizer in a poor section of Chicago, advocating for and with the people there to improve their lives and their community. Later, Barack became a United States Senator, with the same ideas about improving life, especially for the African American communities he represented. And that didn't change much when he was sworn in as President Obama on January 20, 2009.

President Obama is the only present day hero included in this book, and I think his story shows young readers that he is more than just a public figure, that his family is of utmost importance to him and it is from them that he garners the desire to fight for change to make the world a better place. I hope kids will realize, as I have after reading this book, that he served his time as President with grace and dignity for 9 years, showing strength, humor, and resiliency in the face of so much opposition. And I believe kids today will reap the benefits of this youthful leader who still has many great years of achievement ahead of him.

Heroes of Black History is an excellent resource for both school and home libraries. In addition to the book, the editors of Time for Kids have also produced a detailed downloadable PDF Curriculum Guide that also includes a printable Fast Facts sheet for all four of these heroes.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was provided by Blue Slip Media

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