(205) 870-1117 Mon - Sat : 6am - 10pm / Sun : 7am - 10pm Get Directions

Making a Mark: She Persisted and Radiant Child

August 10, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I grabbed two children’s books from Church Street a couple of weeks ago for my kids (ages 12 and 14) and me to read. We believe you’re never too old for children’s books and have been enjoying the words and art in She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton with illustrations by Alexandra Boiger and Radiant Child, written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe.

She Persisted highlights 13 American women who did big things. Clinton writes about Virginia Apgar and Ruby Bridges. She writes about Claudette Colvin and Margaret Chase Smith. It’s okay if all of those names don’t ring a bell–Clinton is here to educate and inspire. She provides a short paragraph about each woman’s accomplishments and includes quotes by them, too. Gorgeous artwork accompanies Clinton’s words and helps bring everyone to life.

 

Clinton pulls together a diverse group of women–some more famous than others–to weave a tapestry of hope for readers–boys and girls, young and old. The words in She Persisted will sink into hearts and minds and provide encouragement on many levels. One of my favorite quotes from the book is from Florence Griffith Joyner: “When anyone tells me I can’t do anything… I’m just not listening anymore.”

Radiant Child is the story of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The vibrant art and meaningful narrative by Javaka Steptoe earned this book The Caldecott Medal. Steptoe holds open the curtain for us to have a glimpse into Basquiat’s childhood and talent. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He includes moments of sorrow, touching on themes of mental illness and tragedy in ways that are accessible to readers of all ages. A short biography of Basquiat is included at the end of the book, as well as notes from Steptoe about motifs and symbolism in Basquiat’s art and how he has been impacted by Basquiat’s work.

 

Children and adults alike will connect with the life and work of Basquiat. They will learn from this book, like Basquiat learned from his mom, that “Art is the street games of little children, in our style and the words that we speak. It is how the messy patchwork of the city creates new meaning for ordinary things.”

 

Charlotte lives in Homewood with her husband and their two children. She’s earning an MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University, and she does freelance writing and copywriting. You can find her online at www.charlottedonlon.com and on Twitter at @charlottedonlon. You can sign up for her newsletter about what she’s reading and writing here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

January 2018 Books of the Month

January 01, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

Cal picked three books for Church Street Coffee and Books’ January 2018 “Books of the Month.” Copies will be available in the shop for purchase on and after their publication dates. If you read any... read full article

WE'RE ALL WONDERS and HERE WE ARE

December 23, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I recently read something on Facebook (that I think is actually true) about a tradition in Iceland where everyone exchanges gifts of books on Christmas Eve. Then they read their new books in bed that... read full article

Frederick Buechner's THE REMARKABLE ORDINARY: HOW TO STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN TO LIFE

December 08, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Over the past couple of years, I’ve read several of Frederick Buechner’s memoirs and sermon collections. One reason his writing appeals to me is that he’s a master of writing about faith in a way... read full article

HUNGER: A MEMOIR OF (MY) BODY by Roxane Gay

September 28, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I read Roxane Gay’s Hunger in a few sittings on the day it was released. I am a fan of Gay's work and had been awaiting this book for a couple of years—since I first... read full article

GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong

September 25, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I’m a fan of Twitter although it wears me out sometimes. I need to take breaks from it, but it's probably my favorite of all of the social media options. When I finished Goodbye, Vitamin... read full article

Everyone's Story Matters: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

September 16, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon | 1 Comment

Yesterday a friend's Facebook post caught my eye. She's a therapist and lives in Orlando with her husband and three kids. After enduring the wrath of Hurricane Irma, she posted that The Fantastic Flying Books... read full article

Brené Brown's Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

September 12, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

  During an appointment with the first therapist I ever met with, I asked him if there's something wrong with me because I've never had a best friend who lasted more than a couple of... read full article

John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien

September 05, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I must confess I've never read any of Tolkien's books. But after reading the children's book John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien written by Caroline McAlister and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, I'm now convinced... read full article

Grief, Resilience, and Option B

September 01, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Since I married my husband almost twenty years ago, one of my greatest fears has been losing him to some kind of tragic early death. After I became a mama, this fear expanded to include losing... read full article

Author Interview: Gin Phillips on Fierce Kingdom, Writing, and Motherhood

August 14, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Gin Phillips and I hung out on her back porch recently and talked about her new book, writing, and motherhood. Here’s some of what we discussed:   When did you start writing? I’ve always written... read full article

Making a Mark: She Persisted and Radiant Child

August 10, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I grabbed two children's books from Church Street a couple of weeks ago for my kids (ages 12 and 14) and me to read. We believe you're never too old for children's books and have been enjoying... read full article

A Review: Becoming Ms. Burton

August 03, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Many conversations I hear about social justice issues are taking place among people who aren’t necessarily suffering from oppression. There are a lot of well-meaning people who talk about the effects of racism. They advocate... read full article

Author Interview: Kristen Iskandrian

July 28, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I got to spend some time with local author Kristen Iskandrian yesterday. We talked about books, writing, and her first novel Motherest which I definitely recommend. This coming-of-age story explores the dynamics of complex relationships... read full article

It's a Marvel and a Wonder I Liked It

November 25, 2015 | The Crew

  My wife and I just spent the weekend going through all of our books, getting rid of the ones we’ll never read again, the grad-school textbooks we never read in the first place, the... read full article

Hollow Fruits and Spiritual Totems: A Review of Gold Fame Citrus by Clair Vaye Watkins

October 04, 2015 | The Crew

  Disregarding weather reports of temperatures reaching 102º, I strapped on my pack and started out on the Tuxachanie Trail in Stone County, Mississippi, for a night in the woods with a flask of rum... read full article

Haiku Review: 100 Years of Solitude

July 28, 2015 | The Crew

Our haiku reviewer, Anonymous, treats us to a poetic appraisal of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez classic.     I must disclose: This Is my very favorite Book. Ever. La verdad.   Generations of Buendias fall... read full article

Armada: Sci-Fi, but Accessible

July 21, 2015 | The Crew

  I had a conversation with a friend the other night about his wife’s laundry list of problems with America—rampant consumer culture, disconnection from the land, inability to live harmoniously in diverse communities, Walmart, etc.... read full article

Ready Player One: An Adventure in New Antiques

July 14, 2015 | The Crew

[Ready Player One has been reviewed here before, but I thought I’d give it another look since Ernest Cline’s new book, Armada, comes out today. I’ll be reviewing it within the week, but until then... read full article

Throwback Review: Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye

June 17, 2015 | The Crew | 1 Comment

Anthony Vacca takes us back to 1953 and the hard-boiled world of dames and detectives. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler When it comes to Raymond Chandler’s novels starring the smart-ass, misanthropic PI Phillip Marlowe,... read full article

Haiku Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

June 02, 2015 | The Crew

It's an oldie but a goodie, and here's your Anonymous Haiku Review of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.     Wellington has a Garden fork in his left side. Pretty... read full article
View More Posts

Login

Lost your password?