Work It, Girl: Beyoncé Knowles
Rule the music scene like Queen
by Caroline Moss
Work It, Girl is an excellent biography for young chapter book readers. It tells the story of Beyonce beginning when she was a shy child. Beyonce’s parents accepted her personality but hoped to bring her out of herself a bit, so suggested a dance class. In many ways, the rest is history! With her family’s support Beyonce kept moving forward.
One thing that I very much like in this book is its emphasis on how hard Beyonce worked and what she gave up to achieve her early goals. When others in her school were dating or playing sports, she and her group members practiced and focused on school work with no time for anything else. This message is helpful for young readers who may think that Beyonce’s success was easy or automatic. It was not.
Readers follow Beyonce from her first girl band, through Destiny’s Child and on to her solo career. Beyonce continued to work hard and have big dreams. She also had a personal life and some of the book is devoted to this as well as Jay Z and Beyonce’s desire to become parents. In addition, readers watch Beyonce as she becomes active with Black Lives Matter.
The biography is illustrated with collage like pictures. There are also some photographs. The end of the book includes extras like a maze, a section titled “Rule the music scene like Beyonce” and more. There is so much to Beyonce’s story. Readers will realize this. This book would make a great choice for a biography book report as it is a good read and about a popular current figure.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
From the Publisher
You’re Going To Be A Star
Beyoncé Gisele Knowles was shy. That was the best word for it. Shy. During recess at school, when all of her classmates would pair off or play games in groups, Beyoncé usually kept to herself. While the children talked and played, Beyoncé watched them, wondering what it might be like to be able to not be so self-conscious about, well, everything! She was always worrying what people were going to think of her, and it made her anxious. She just liked to stay quiet and observe the world around her.
|A Girl Group Named Girls Tyme In no time, Beyoncé’s shyness was a thing of the past and she could not get enough of the spotlight on stage. Her parents were so excited. They loved to see Beyoncé blossom! Soon, Beyoncé and Solange were making up their own choreography in their bedrooms and singing as they danced. They didn’t even mind when their parents would peek in the room to catch them performing. That might have embarrassed Beyoncé before but not anymore.||Finding Fame… With and Without Friends Soon, everyone in the country was learning Beyoncé’s name. Destiny’s Child debuted their first album in February of 1998, but it didn’t do so well— despite the hit single “No, No, No Part 2” (with Wyclef Jean). A year later they came out with their second album. Their success hinged on that second album being bigger than the first. Would it happen? Beyoncé wanted this dream so badly.||I Want To Be An Icon “I want to be an icon,” Beyoncé told a glossy magazine in September 2008. She was 26 at the time, and really starting to come into her own. She was using her voice and making herself known—not just as an entertainer but as someone people should be keeping their eyes on. “I am over being a pop star,” she added.|
|Empowered To Be Fierce… Sasha Fierce As Beyoncé pumped out songs like “Irreplaceable” and “Ring the Alarm”, the world was starting to get a sense of what she believed and what she valued. Through music, Beyoncé was putting out messages of female empowerment, feminism, and independence.||Life Is But A Dream During her hiatus from music, Beyoncé and Jay-Z thought it might be time to fulfill a secret dream they had kept to themselves. They wanted to be parents. They wanted to have a baby. It wouldn’t be so easy. Beyoncé encountered difficulties and heartbreak trying to start a family.||The Biggest Secret… Revealed Ever since dropping “Life Is But A Dream” Beyoncé became addicted to the element of surprise. She vowed to incorporate surprises as often as she could. If you weren’t sure by now, Jay-Z and Beyoncé were arguably two of the most well-known and famous people in the world, with a net worth of millions between them. This allowed them opportunities most people do not get, especially not those who have just given birth to babies.|
|People Are Listening Soon after the secret Beyoncé album dropped, the star declared herself to be a feminist in British Vogue. What does being a feminist mean? Well, that’s actually a very easy question to answer. This is the definition of feminist: believing that men and women are equal.||Respect. Our. Lives. Her fans were clamoring for more. This was the Beyoncé they loved. Not just the incredible artist but the social activist, too. A group of her most ardent supporters labeled themselves the BeyHive (pronounced beehive!). Beyoncé, who once kept her personal opinions and intimate thoughts to herself, was starting to see the benefit in sharing her true beliefs with the world.||Find Your Inner Beyoncé Beyoncé has done so much to achieve her legendary icon status. Hit songs? Check. “Single Ladies”, “Formation”, “Crazy in Love”… the list goes on and on! Starring in movies? The Lion King, DreamGirls, Austin Powers… check. Winning dozens of huge awards? 23 Grammys, 28 MTV VMAs, Critics’ Choice Award… check. Donating her voice (and money, and time) to the important causes she believes in? Check.|