cvoer malcolm x   MCBookDay-white-2

Book Review
By Jessica Gunderson
Illustrated by Seitu Hayden
Published by Capstone Press
ISBN 978-1-4296-5471-5 (library binding)
ISBN 978-1-4296-6267-3 (paperback)
32 Pages
Age level: 12 and up

The life of Malcolm X is as complex as any American figure. His life included a great deal of twists and turns that crossed some important eras of American History and of family and social standards. Understanding that, it is clear to see that writing a book that covers all of this man’s life would be a daunting task.

Published as a graphic novel (‘comic book” style, but I hesitate to use that phrase due to the serious nature of the book), there are a good many illustrations. The colors are rather muted: no bright colors to speak of; mostly blacks, grays, and browns, but with a few splashes of reds.

The text, as one would expect in a graphic novel, is concise. There is more dialogue than description or explanation. Words used therefore should be clear, with no extra words thrown in. The author does a fair job of following this kind of style.

In a unique approach, the book contains four chapters; not what one would expect to find in a graphic novel. (I admit to a very limited amount of experience with the form). However, I found it difficult to follow the chronological order of Malcolm X’s life because of the intertwining of the chapters. Perhaps a chronological presentation would be more effective here.

I was struck, too, by what was not included in the book. We meet Malcolm in prison a few times, but we don’t learn why. Elijah Muhammad (Malcolm X’s mentor) and the group he leads (the Nation of Islam) should be described deeper. Was Elijah an American? Is the Nation of Islam an American institution or a global organization?

I selected the age group for older readers due to the more mature events that involve violence.

There is an index, a glossary, and a list of further readings at the back of the book. Since this book offers just a small slice of the complexity that was Malcolm X, the reader would be wise to take advantage of the extra readings and the information offered in these sections to learn more.

Take that to heart – read this book, but realize it is just a beginning into the man. Read further for the whole picture.

As part of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, the following is required to be part of this blog:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Mission: Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

Our CoHosts: We have NINE amazing Co-Hosts.
Africa to America
All Done Monkey
The Educators’ Spin on It
Growing Book by Book
InCultural Parent
Kid World Citizen
Mama Smiles
Multicultural Kid Blogs
Sprout’s Bookshelf

MCCBD’s 2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold Sponsors: Satya House,, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library Guild, Capstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books, The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing, Rainbow Books, Author Felicia Capers, Chronicle Books Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

• A Special Thank You to the Children’s Book Council for their contribution and support.
We’re also partnering with First Book to offer a Virtual Book Drive that will help donate multicultural children’s books through their channels during the week of the event. We want to help get diversity books into the hands of kids who most need it and now we have a way to do it! The Virtual Book Drive is LIVE and can be found HERE.