Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with her Song by Kathryn Erskine -OPTIONAL

Erskine, Kathryn Neil Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with her Song, 25 pages.  NON-FICTION.  Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2017.  $19. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

This is the life story of Miriam Makeba –a talented singer from South Africa who uses her words, her singing, and her passion to fight against Apartheid in her country. At one point, she is not even allowed to come back home and travels the world to sing her songs of protests. Blurry painted illustrations accompany.

This book would make a great addition to library sections on civil rights, South African history, and biographies of powerful influential talented woman. I think it works better as a teacher read-a-loud than for a student picking this up on their own to read. The illustration are bright but blurry and dated, making it hard to share with a group –I would have rather seen Miriam brought to life with vivid and clear imagery. Also students will be upset not to see an actual photograph of her in the back of the book. Because of the illustrations I am rating this as optional.

EL –OPTIONAL.  Stephanie, Elementary School Librarian & Author

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