Thurgood

By: Jonah Winter

Illustrator: Bryan Collier

Thurgood Marshall was a born lawyer—the loudest talker, funniest joke teller, and best arguer from the time he was a kid growing up in Baltimore in the early 1900s. He would go on to become the star of his high school and college debate teams, a stellar law student at Howard University, and, as a lawyer, a one-man weapon against the discriminatory laws against black Americans. After only two years at the NAACP, he was their top lawyer and had earned himself the nickname Mr. Civil Rights. He argued—and won—cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most important cases in American history: Brown v Board of Education. And he became the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.

Like its subject, here is a biography that crackles with energy and intensity—a great introduction to a great man.

Author’s note, with photographs. Full-color illustrations done in watercolor and collage.

ISBN: 9781524765347

JLG Release: Jan 2020


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Mild Violence
Topics: Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993) , US Supreme Court , African American judges , Lawyers , Segregation , Civil rights , Biography

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Awards & Honors

CSMCL Best Books - 2019

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist*, School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

When six-year-old Thurgood Marshall convinced his parents to legally change his name from Thoroughgood, his future as a lawyer seemed predestined. His father took him to trials to watch legal arguments and practiced the art of vociferous debate at the dinner table. There is a stark juxtaposition between Marshall’s edifying upbringing and the soci When six-year-old Thurgood Marshall convinced his parents to legally change his name from Thoroughgood, his future as a lawyer seemed predestined. His father took him to trials to watch legal arguments and practiced the art of vociferous debate at the dinner table. There is a stark juxtaposition between Marshall’s edifying upbringing and the society of pervasive and violent racism in which he came of age. Readers are easily able to understand how these two forces motivated Marshall to reach great legal heights. This impassioned picture book does not shy away from depicting the racism that shaped Marshall’s life. Often these examples are preceded by the capitalized word “FACT” followed by information such as the conditions in segregated schools, or the fact that a young Thurgood could hear white cops beating black suspects in the police station across the street from his school, or that his father’s forced subservience to white people provoked intense rage. Acts of segregation are labeled as “INJUSTICE,” and every victory of Marshall’s is proudly declared as “JUSTICE.” Collier’s dynamic illustrations perfectly complement the tone of Winter’s narrative. His watercolor and collage artwork effectively captures moments of both adversity and triumph. The work as a whole is informative, inspiring, and exciting. This is no carefully neutral biography: it is a fervent celebration of a man whose work improved the lives of millions of Americans. This stirring portrait of an American hero is recommended for first purchase.

Horn Book

Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993)—who grew up to “change the law of the land”—was a skilled debater and orator from a young age. In engaging and accessible prose, Winter presents the facts of Marshall’s life as if presenting a case in court. Repeated words—“FACT” and “VERDICT”; “JUSTICE” and “INJUS¬TICE”—mark defining m Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993)—who grew up to “change the law of the land”—was a skilled debater and orator from a young age. In engaging and accessible prose, Winter presents the facts of Marshall’s life as if presenting a case in court. Repeated words—“FACT” and “VERDICT”; “JUSTICE” and “INJUS¬TICE”—mark defining moments (“FACT: In the Deep South, most whites sitting in courtrooms had never even seen a black lawyer”); while the incorporation of vernacular phrases (“yeah, right”; “darn right he was scared”) creates a more con¬versational tone. To bolster the evidence for his case, Winter shows how Marshall was largely influenced by his father, who encouraged the young Thurgood to participate in legal discourse as a way to combat corruption and unfair practices. As a young lawyer, Marshall sharpened his hurt and disgust about unjust laws into irrefutable evidence to prove that separate is not equal in cases across the country, even though taking these cases put his life at risk. Years later, he contin¬ued to break new ground by becoming the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court (“JUSTICE”). Collier’s illustrations, rendered in watercolor and collage in shades of tan, green, and gray, set the scenes and enliven the historic material. The sometimes shadowy art reflects the violence and chaos that perme¬ated Marshall’s everyday life. There are no source notes, but an author’s note presents a brief summary of Marshall’s life and career.

Book Details

ISBN

9781524765347

First Release

January 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

B

Trim Size

10" x 10"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 950L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Library edition with trade jacket added

Publisher

Schwartz & Wade

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Violence: Mild Violence

Topics

Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993), US Supreme Court, African American judges, Lawyers, Segregation, Civil rights, Biography,

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