Saturday, January 21, 2023

Choosing Brave by Angela Joy and Janelle Washington - ESSENTIAL

Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement
by Angela Joy, illustrated by Janelle Washington
. BIOGRAPHY Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan). 2022 $20. 9781250220950 



Mamie Till-Mobley was the mother of Emmett Till. She grew up in a town outside Chicago called Argo, where she graduated from High School top of her class. Emmett was her only child. He was a good boy, helpful, happy and responsible. After contracting Polio, Emmett had a stutter. His mother taught him to whistle to get his mind and tongue unstuck. When he visits family in the south and is killed, Mamie is brave, and does the hardest thing - she has his body sent back home and spends the rest of her life working for social change. 

There are other stories about Emmett Till for young readers (A Wreath for Emmett Till, Getting Away with Murder) but I especially loved Choosing Brave, as the focus was on Mamie and what she did rather than on the murder itself. Perfectly appropriate for a younger audience. I must say, I didn't love the illustrations, as they are a less traditional style, but they didn't detract from the story - just a personal preference. I think Choosing Brave is an important addition to both the middle school and elementary library. The characters are Black 

Lisa Librarian

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