Published by Albert Whitman and Company
Summary: Born in 1915 in Kansas, Gordon Parks grew up hearing from his white teachers that he was destined to be a porter or a waiter. He did indeed become a waiter, but the purchase of a $7.50 camera put him on the road to a new career as a photographer. He worked for the Farm Security Administration, Life, and Vogue, and was the first African American to direct a feature film. He used his photos to work for human rights, exposing the plight of African Americans in big cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Pros: The lyrical writing and colorful illustrations are a perfect match. I love biographies like this that teach about a little-known person who made contributions to both art and humanitarianism.
Cons: The spare text gives only the bare bones of Parks’ life. Be sure to read the author’s note at the end.