Published by Sterling Children’s Books
Summary: From an early age, Gwendolyn loved words and poetry. Fortunately, her parents were supportive of her interests and allowed her to opt out of chores if they knew she was working on a poem When a teacher accused her daughter of plagiarism, Gwendolyn’s mother marched to the school and had Gwendolyn write a poem on the spot to prove her talent. As an adult living on the South Side of Chicago, Brooks didn’t let marriage and family stop her from writing, and in 1950 she won a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection Annie Allen. Includes an author’s note with additional information about Gwendolyn Brooks; a timeline; a list of some of her poetry books; and a bibliography. 48 pages; grades 2-6.
Pros: Although this beautifully illustrated book is suggested for elementary ages, it would also make an excellent text to use in a middle school introduction to poetry. Brooks’ poems are sprinkled throughout the story, and older kids might resonate with the poet’s more introverted nature.
Cons: The fonts used for the main text and the poems were so similar, it was sometimes difficult to distinguish the difference between the two.