Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America

Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Brian Pinkney. Disney-Jump at the Sun, $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4231-4257-7
Ten influential black men—including Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King Jr.—are profiled in this husband-and-wife team’s vibrant collaboration. Andrea Davis Pinkney introduces her subjects with powerful poems, before moving into image-rich, introspective, and candid descriptions of each man’s influence on civil rights, culture, art, or politics: “[Malcolm X] thought carefully about some of the beliefs he’d held in the past, and how they supported the idea that he’d been brainwashed by whites. For example, straightening his hair was Malcolm’s attempt to deny his black heritage by trying to look ‘more white.’ ” Brian Pinkney’s portraits of each man echo the multidimensional prose with their bold strokes and dynamic swirls of color. An examination of Barack Obama’s life and presidential election carries readers into the present day, placing the achievements of those who came before him into perspective. Though the text-heavy format may initially daunt some readers, the inviting narrative voice and eloquent portrayal of these iconic men and the times in which they lived make for memorable reading. Ages 9–12. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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