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Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

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Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator. Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents' farm in Barbados, Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator. Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents' farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother's curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly...and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? Fighting Shirley Chisholm--Unbought and Unbossed! Does she win? You bet she does.


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Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator. Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents' farm in Barbados, Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator. Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents' farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother's curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly...and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? Fighting Shirley Chisholm--Unbought and Unbossed! Does she win? You bet she does.

30 review for Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress is a children's picture book written by Alicia D. Williams and illustrated by April Harrison. Shirley St. Hill was all the things a proper little girl was not: spirited, opinionated, and determined to get her way. Shirley Anita Chisholm (née St. Hill) was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York's 12th congressional dist Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress is a children's picture book written by Alicia D. Williams and illustrated by April Harrison. Shirley St. Hill was all the things a proper little girl was not: spirited, opinionated, and determined to get her way. Shirley Anita Chisholm (née St. Hill) was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York's 12th congressional district, a district centered on Bedford-Stuyvesant, for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In the 1972 United States presidential election, she became the first African-American candidate to run for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Williams' text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. Employing an italicized refrain of others' judgments throughout Chisholm's life, Williams relays the various challenges and achievements Chisholm faced at each stage of her life. Backmatter includes an author's note. Acrylic and mixed media collage art by Harrison has a multilayered, folk art sensibility, featuring textures, angles, and expressive figures of differing skin tones. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It profiles Shirley Chisholm, presenting her Brooklyn beginnings, her six years growing up in Barbados, and her subsequent education and fight to join the New York State Assembly and then Congress. All in all, Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress is a timely and inspiring biography of a great woman who broke barriers and used her voice to elevate those around her.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tina Hoggatt

    How I loved Shirley Chisholm growing up. She was all the things called out in this well observed biography:Daring, rebellious, persistent, and a troublemaker. It was good to learn about her childhood, love for learning, and brilliance, and to revisit her many achievements. These illustrations grew on me. Kudos to April Harrison - got to love those white shoes!

  3. 4 out of 5

    LeeTravelGoddess

    Of course I read her autobiography… 💚💚💚

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maura

    My 8 year old son and I really enjoyed this biography of Shirley Chisholm. This is our 4th new picture book biography that we've read about her. If we hadn't read more before this one, it might have been a bit incomplete-feeling, but already knowing a bit about her story, it was an enjoyable and fresh look at her. The cover illustration is lovely, but both my son and I interrupted our reading several times to remark upon the odd illustrations. Some illustrations, such as the very back full page My 8 year old son and I really enjoyed this biography of Shirley Chisholm. This is our 4th new picture book biography that we've read about her. If we hadn't read more before this one, it might have been a bit incomplete-feeling, but already knowing a bit about her story, it was an enjoyable and fresh look at her. The cover illustration is lovely, but both my son and I interrupted our reading several times to remark upon the odd illustrations. Some illustrations, such as the very back full page portrait of Chisholm holding up a peace sign, are realistic and true to life. Some, like a collage of articles about her, are visually engaging. Others are strangely distorted, with people whose heads are bent at strange angles. I know it's an artistic decision that is interesting, but in our case the surprising illustrations often distracted from our enjoyment of the book and focus on the idea of Shirley Chisholm's life. Overall, a recommended family read and addition to elementary libraries.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    “In her community, politicians keep making promises. Yet nothing changes.” Her father told her when she was young to “Make something of yourself.” Shirley was daring, rebellious, persistent, and a troublemaker who kept asking questions and expecting her representatives to do something about the problems in her community. When they didn’t, she started working to make change herself: first as a New York State Assemblywoman and then a member of Congress. Her campaign slogan for her 1968 Congress run “In her community, politicians keep making promises. Yet nothing changes.” Her father told her when she was young to “Make something of yourself.” Shirley was daring, rebellious, persistent, and a troublemaker who kept asking questions and expecting her representatives to do something about the problems in her community. When they didn’t, she started working to make change herself: first as a New York State Assemblywoman and then a member of Congress. Her campaign slogan for her 1968 Congress run was Unbought and Unbossed - you have to love that! A very good introductory text on the life of Shirley Chisholm, but also a great example of SEL topics such as civic engagement and ethical responsibility.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aliza Werner

    The familiar and immediate writing style is the way to engage kids in picture book biographies. Not just a retelling of Chisholm’s life, but an invitation to “meet” her. A “troublemaker” who is too “rebellious” and “persistent”. Go Shirley go!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Daley

    Although brief, this picture book biography was very informative and inspirational. I didn't know much about Shirley Chisholm's story, but after reading this book, I'm looking forward to learning more about her life. Although brief, this picture book biography was very informative and inspirational. I didn't know much about Shirley Chisholm's story, but after reading this book, I'm looking forward to learning more about her life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Reign_ 1982

    Very informative I've never heard of Shirley Chisholm. I'm definitely going to invest time into learning more about her. Very informative I've never heard of Shirley Chisholm. I'm definitely going to invest time into learning more about her.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda Atkinson

    A role model and hero who I remember running for President. Listed on Mock Caldecott 2022

  10. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Shirley Chisholm lived quite a life! Other than having some basic awareness of her as a Congressperson, I knew very little about her. I learned something and so will you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Well done picture book biography!

  12. 4 out of 5

    bet mercer

    (more 3.5 stars)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Monica

  14. 5 out of 5

    L

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Carr

  16. 5 out of 5

    A

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Teut

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Prouse

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kiza Celestin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

  23. 4 out of 5

    Taryn Barnes

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shanna

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wendi (Alex) Werner

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ama

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kerri Hall

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