Just published: Maya Angelou Little Guides to Great Lives by Danielle Jawando, illustrations by Noa Snir

This book is part of a series of biographies; this time elementary school aged readers will learn about Maya Angelou. Maya’s story is clearly and inspiringly told. The ups and downs of her life, the struggles, losses and victories all receive attention, although the full details of some of the more difficult aspects of her life are not fully explicated. This makes sense given the book’s audience.

Maya’s early life, her move to her grandmother, her return to her mother and subsequent elective mutism are all here. Her love of reading and her eventual finding of her voice are described.

The many accomplishments and first that this remarkable woman achieved are described beginning with her becoming the first black woman train conductor, work in television and of course, her commitment to civil rights and teaching. Maya knew and grieved the loss of other well known African Americans including Malcolm X and Martin Luther king. Ms. Angelou’s writings are also cited, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and going through her inaugural poem for Barack Obama. Her many awards are also listed.

The back of the book details a timeline and there is also a glossary.

This is an excellent and inspiring biography. As an adult, I finished the book knowing more about this remarkable woman than I had previously.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

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