Monday, May 26, 2008

As Good as Anybody by Richard Michelson; illustrated by Raul Colón

As Good as Anybody by Richard Michelson; illustrated by Raul Colón
Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 13, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375833358
ISBN-13: 978-0375833359
Source of book: Review Copy from Publisher

In this biographical picture book, we learn the stories of two people from very different backgrounds, but who both struggled for equality. One is an American boy named Martin, the son of a minister who is angry when he sees “Whites Only” signs everywhere in his community. The other is a Polish boy named Abraham Joshua Heschel, the son of a rabbi who follows in his father’s footsteps. When he’s a young man, he’s kicked out of his German university because he’s Jewish and is angry when he sees “No Jews Allowed” signs everywhere.

Abraham goes to America in hopes for a better life, but when he arrives, the country is in the throes of the Civil Rights Movement. He hears of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the boy we met in the beginning, who is now a man, and joins him in the Selma Freedom March.

Raul Colón's rich pencil and water color illustrations complement the books serious and deferential tone. He explains his palette choices in the jacket flap. The illustration of Abraham's boat arriving in the choppy waters of Ellis Island with the Statue of Liberty standing tall is particularly stunning, and the final illustration of King and Heschel provides a sense of hope.

This is the inspirational story of two powerful men who joined forces to bring change to the world. A must-read for every child, and a must-have for every classroom.

Resources for teachers and parents:

What Other Bloggers Are Saying:

Julie M. Prince at Young Adult Books Central: "I absolutely love the way this book illustrates how important it is for people to continue the march—-to recognize and speak out when they see injustice." (Read more...)

Young Readers: "It's also the story of how two men from two different backgrounds came together in the mid-sixties for a worthy cause. The text by Richard Michelson is simple and straight forward." (read more...)

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: "It’s a powerful, stirring tribute to two of America’s most prominent civil rights leaders and to justice and equality." (read more...)

Do you have a review of As Good As Anybody? Leave a comment with your link, and I'll post it here.

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