Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes and Laura Freeman

Happy Friday! I have looked at the cover for Nikki Grimes and Laura Freeman's Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice at least 30 times over the past 24 hours. Just like Nikki Grimes shares below, it took my breath away. I'm beyond honored Nikki stopped by to chat with me about Laura Freeman's gorgeous cover illustration, Kamala Harris, Eve, and story. I wrote the words in purple, and Nikki wrote the words in black. Thank you, Nikki! 

Laura Freeman's cover illustration for Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice is stunning! At first sight, it took my breath away. The portrait not only managed to incorporate important people in young Kamala's life, but also gave a nod to the meaning of her Indian name, a name that celebrated Kamala's South Asian roots on her mother's side.

Did you know Kamala Harris was fluent in French? She had to learn it in middle grade, when her mother moved the family to Montreal and enrolled Kamala and her sister Maya in a French-language school. I suppose that fascinates me because I love learning other languages, and had a full-emersion language experience, myself, when I lived in Sweden.

Eve is a spirited character who believes that girls can be anything they want, if they're willing to work hard. As her mother tells her the story of Kamala Harris, Eve's excited to learn that Kamala believes that, too.

Story is what unites us, all. When we enter a story and climb into the skins of its characters, we discover how alike we humans really are. No matter what we look like on the outside, we all laugh and cry, experience joy and despair, and are all enriched by the love we have in our lives. As we learn through story how alike we are, the walls we've built between us begin to crumble, and those walls are replaced by a little thing called compassion.

Picture book biographies are a wonderful way to introduce young readers to remarkable men and woman who have made their mark in the world, or who, like Senator Kamala Harris, are still in the process of doing so.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me why I wanted to write a book about Kamala Harris, in the first place. The simplest answer is, her passion for justice drew me in. I believe that passion will take her far, and I'm happy to be along for the ride.

Look for Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice on August 25, 2020. 

Simon and Schuster's Description: 

Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to defend the rights of people everywhere in this moving picture book biography of Senator Kamala Harris.

When Kamala Harris was young, she often accompanied her parents to civil rights marches—so many, in fact, that when her mother asked a frustrated Kamala what she wanted, the young girl responded with: “Freedom!”

As Kamala grew from a small girl in Oakland to a senator running for president, it was this long-fostered belief in freedom and justice for all people that shaped her into the inspiring figure she is today. From fighting for the use of a soccer field in middle school to fighting for the people of her home state in Congress, Senator Harris used her voice to speak up for what she believed in and for those who were otherwise unheard.

Told in Nikki Grimes's stunning verse and featuring gorgeous illustrations by Laura Freeman, this picture book biography brings to life a story that shows all young people that the American dream can belong to all of us if we fight for one another.


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