Magoon, Kekla. Highest Tribute, The: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy. Laura Freeman, Illus. Biog. HarperCollins/Quill Tree, 01/2021. pp. $17.99. 978-0-06-291251-0. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES 2-5.
This picture book biography presents a straightforward and comprehensive account of the life of America’s first Black justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. While the lean, accessible writing style gets the job done, it sometimes comes off as flat or omits important details. As an example, the main text describes Marshall’s “most famous case,” Brown v. Board of Education, but does not name it. However, the back matter does name and describe the decision in more detail along with other civil rights cases. Photoshop™—created art featuring blocks of saturated color, mostly on openings, greatly enhances the text. The artwork itself contains text in signs, documents, and letters. The back matter also includes a detailed timeline and a small selection of further reading, making the book useful for school projects. A glossary defining such legal terms as solicitor general and special counsel would have been helpful, although such terms could have been omitted altogether. Despite a lack of energy, this book is a thorough and attractive tribute to an important figure and should be considered for updating biography collections.
Cindy Gullikson, Joaquin Miller School