Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills

Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills
by Renée Watson, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills tells the story of a young woman with a beautiful voice -- which she used for singing and for speaking out about injustice.

I didn't know anything about Florence Mills or her family of singers, and it was a real treat to be introduced to her in this beautiful book. This book starts with her early childhood, showing the challenges faced by her family. Her parents -- who had been slaves -- and her siblings used music to escape grinding poverty by performing around the region.

As Florence got older, she became a musical celebrity on her own. But she was not content. She wanted to use her voice to do more than entertain -- she wanted to change the world. And she did.

Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills (Library) earns the Self-Rescuing Princess Society seal of approval for telling the story of a brave woman who was determined to improve the lives of others. Her courage and certainty that she was on the right side of the issue is an inspiration to us all. This book is a great early reader with clear language and colorful illustrations that perfectly capture each part of the story. It touches on issues around racism and shows how Florence fought against them at every turn in a way that even younger children can understand.

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