by Suzanne Slade
and Cozbi A. Cabrera
Gwendolyn Brooks grew up in Chicago, in a poor family who nonetheless "owned great treasure-a bookcase filled with precious poems." Her love of poetry took root in these early years, when her father would recite poems to the family. By age seven, Gwendolyn was writing poems of her own, her passion encouraged by her mother, who believed she would be a great poet someday. She was prolific, writing about everything, submitting a few poems to a newspaper when she was 11, which became her first published work. She continued to write (while holding other jobs) through adulthood, drawing inspiration from her South Side Chicago neighborhood, eventually landing a book deal, and winning the Pulitzer Prize for her second volume of poems. Slade's lyrical picture-book biography captures both the poetry and the persistence of a remarkable woman who always found time to work on craft. Cabrera's expressive acrylic paintings show the poet at work-always observing, thinking and writing, wearing her trademark black horn-rimmed glasses. (Ages 6-10)
CCBC Choices 2021. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.