Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon

By: Jan Greenberg

Sandra Jordan

Looking at the life of legendary photographer Cindy Sherman, the authors have created an unconventional biography, that much like Sherman's famous photographs, has something a little more meaningful under the surface.

ISBN: 9781626725201

JLG Release: Jan 2018


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas

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Awards & Honors

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017, Middle Grade
The Nonfiction Detectives, Best Nonfiction Books of 2017

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
The duo’s latest collaboration centers on a contemporary artist so enigmatic that it’s no surprise the authors begin by asking readers, “Who is Cindy Sherman?” The work opens with Sherman’s childhood and early career in New York City before launching into chapters organized around milestone
[STARRED REVIEW]
The duo’s latest collaboration centers on a contemporary artist so enigmatic that it’s no surprise the authors begin by asking readers, “Who is Cindy Sherman?” The work opens with Sherman’s childhood and early career in New York City before launching into chapters organized around milestone projects/installations (Chapter 4 covers Rear Screen Projections 1980–1981, Fairy Tales 1985, and more). Sherman’s iconic photos are reproduced with clarity and quality, with most laid out over a page or half page. The authors break down the myriad personas present in the artist’s body of work and challenge students to consider the relationship between interpretation and meaning and how much weight to give to an artist’s intent (or lack of) when viewing and analyzing art. Egalitarian statements such as “Art is for everyone at every age” lend the book a welcoming tone, and the authors often address readers directly (“Do clothes and hairstyles make us what we are?”) and include quotes from real kids that oftentimes demonstrate the subjective nature of art interpretation. An ending “Production Notes” spread takes this to the next level and guides readers through Sherman’s Untitled #571, 2016, directing their attention to color, texture, line, shape, and focus. VERDICT This fascinating investigation of a significant U.S. artist will prompt endless discussions on art history, photography, pop culture, gender roles, and even selfies. A title not to be missed.—Della Farrell, School Library Journal

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
“She is a chameleon, changing her appearance from photograph to photograph, so that she is many people but never Cindy.” Prolific biographers-of-artists Greenberg and Jordan (The Mad Potter, rev. 1/14; Ballet for Martha, rev. 7/10) here tackle the mighty task of introducing children to the enig
[STARRED REVIEW]
“She is a chameleon, changing her appearance from photograph to photograph, so that she is many people but never Cindy.” Prolific biographers-of-artists Greenberg and Jordan (The Mad Potter, rev. 1/14; Ballet for Martha, rev. 7/10) here tackle the mighty task of introducing children to the enigmatic contemporary photographer Cindy Sherman, who rose to fame in the 1970s with her edgy performative self-portraits. And readers do come away with an understanding of this role-playing storyteller, her groundbreaking artistic process, and the inspiration behind her provocative concepts. Clear, unpretentious prose describes how a creative child who loved playing dress-up and make-believe went on to find her artistic niche with photography, then revolutionized the medium with narrative images (all, astonishingly, of herself in various guises) that challenge societal constructs and play with stereotypes. As Sherman’s story unfolds in chronological chapters, punctuated by excellently reproduced photographs on cleanly designed pages, the text offers keen observations young readers will readily grasp and ponder further. With an empowering approach (“There are no right or wrong answers”), the authors consulted real children to interpret Sherman’s photographs in this book; their comments are interspersed, underscoring the message that “art is for everyone at every age.” In this era of Snapchat and Instagram selfies, Sherman’s explorations of identity and perception are perhaps more resonant now than ever, and Greenberg and Jordan distill the ideas lucidly for young readers. Appended “Production Notes” include facts about the still-working artist, notes on her process and practice, a bibliography, and a list of artworks. katrina hedeen

Book Details

ISBN

9781626725201

First Release

January 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

770.92 B

Trim Size

Page Count

64

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.8; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level 920L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Roaring Brook

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics


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