Hello, friends! Our book today is The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Laura Freeman, a picture book biography of the beloved US Congressman and equality advocate.
In 1962, at eleven years old, Elijah Cummings joined a protest march against a segregated city pool, sparking his lifelong passion for law and advocacy. One of seven children, Elijah grew up in inner-city Baltimore to deeply religious parents who instilled in him kindness, generosity, and the value of all human life. He had dreams of changing the world, even as he struggled in school and was told that he should not aspire to a law degree by doubting educators. Elijah had faith however, in God and in himself. And it was this faith – as well as hard work, education, dedication, and perseverance – that led Elijah all the way to the US Congress.
Stirring. Cummings was a much-loved political figure, and one who became a prominent symbol of civil rights and equality, especially in his later years. This biographical look at his background and childhood gives a readers a broad vision at the things that influenced his mission and career: his close relationship with his parents, his early experiences with the Civil Rights Movement, his academic struggles, his perceived limitations based on his race and background. Cummings eventually rises to political greatness, though he never lost his connections to his constituency, keeping his home in Baltimore open to neighbors and being a vocal participant of BLM protests. Weatherford does a good job of balancing Cummings’s childhood with his adult achievements with informative text and an even pace; Freeman’s illustrations are rich with color and character, even if the environments can occasionally feel sparse. The length is best for older elementary readers, but JJ did enjoy the majority of the story and the expressive artwork. Overall, this is a loving and well-deserved tribute to Cummings, and we really liked it. Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)