Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Hillary Rodham Clinton

For March, in celebration of Women's History Month, I am featuring books about strong women who have made a significant impact in their field.  I have been holding off on reviewing these two biographies since I received them in January because I was waiting for the right time.  Both books feature an overview of the life and work of Hillary Rodham Clinton. One a picture book biography that is a beautiful introduction to Hillary Clinton and the other is a long-form biography written for for students in 5th grade and up. 

I will freely admit that I admire Hillary and appreciated each of these books for how they introduce readers to this amazing woman. However, I do recognize that some readers may want books that are more "objective". If you are looking for books that point out or focus more on Hillary's flaws, then you don't need a book. All you need is to look no further than the news.  So many are eager to try and discredit Hillary.

From the time, Hillary became First Lady, I remember being shocked and amazed at how she was criticized for things that men would never have been criticized for. As if the bar for women was set much higher than it has ever been set for men.  And, well frankly it has been set higher.

Enough of my rambling, let's talk books.  

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead
by Michelle Markel; Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Balzer & Bray (January 5, 2016)
Audience: Kinder to 3rd
Nonfiction * Biography * Politics * Women's History
Indiebound | WorldCat

About the book:
In the spirit of Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope and Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride comes an inspiring portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton: a girl who fought to make a difference—and paved the way for women everywhere—from Michelle Markel and LeUyen Pham.

In the 1950s, it was a man’s world. Girls weren’t supposed to act smart, tough, or ambitious. Even though, deep inside, they may have felt that way. And then along came Hillary. Brave, brilliant, and unstoppable, she was out to change the world.

They said a woman couldn’t be a mother and a lawyer. Hillary was both. They said a woman shouldn’t be too strong or too smart. Hillary was fearlessly herself.

It didn’t matter what people said—she was born to lead.

With illustrations packed full of historical figures and details, this gorgeous and informative picture book biography is perfect for every budding leader. Includes a timeline, artist’s note, and bibliography.

A few thoughts on this book:
In November, I had a chance to hear illustrator, LeUyen Pham talk about the research that she did for this picture book biography written by Michelle Markel.  I was in awe of the attention to details and effort she put into this book. 

Markel provides young readers with an engaging overview and introduction to Hillary Rodham Clinton's life and work and especially Hillary as the leader she was born to be. The text flows well and though not comprehensive, it provides readers with many important events in Hillary's life.

Pham's illustrations support the text and provides another layer of richness to the book due to the incredible attention to detail. The end of the book provides readers with a timeline and an artist's note with several pages of references. 

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can
by Cynthia Levinson
Balzer & Bray (January 5, 2016)
Audience: 4th to 9th grade
Nonfiction * Biography * Politics * Women's History
Indiebound | WorldCat

About the book
An inspiring and meticulously researched middle grade biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton—First Lady, senator, secretary of state, and Democratic candidate for president in 2016.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a true leader. Growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary was inspired by the philosophy of John Wesley, who urged his followers to "do all the good you can." Rising to prominence in 1992 as the First Lady of the United States, Hillary captured the world's attention with her bold ideas and political forcefulness.

From her time at Wellesley to her life at the White House and beyond, Hillary has been at the forefront of huge change—and despite setbacks and political scandals, she has worked for good in the world.

Acclaimed author Cynthia Levinson creates a compelling and personal portrait of Hillary's historic journey from her childhood to her service as secretary of state and beyond. Includes a timeline of Hillary Rodham Clinton's life and an eight-page photo insert.

A few thoughts on this book:
Cynthia Levinson provides readers with a glimpse of Hillary that may not always be evident in the media. The Hillary that is "warm, funny, thoughtful, and humanly flawed person of faith". As I read through this biography, I gained a better understanding for what events and experiences shaped and influenced her. How both the political and cultural changes of her teen and young adult years left such a deep impact on her and would permeate her life's work. 

Though I realize that there will be individuals who will never want to recognize Hillary Rodham Clinton for the incredibly bright and skilled woman and talented leader that she is, other readers will find Levinson's portrayal of Hillary as insightful, and may even change how they view Hillary.  

Other books on Hillary Rodham Clinton to consider:

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight by Kathleen Krull; Illustrated by Amy June Bates (Simon & Schuster, Updated in August 2015) 

Hillary by Jonah Winter; Illustrated by Raúl Colón (Schwartz & Wade, January 2016)

Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History by Karen Blumenthal (Feiwel & Friends, January 2016)

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