A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy's Big Speech Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-04-29 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" Very well done, beautifully illustrated picture book biography of JFK and how he made a difference with civil rights. " said.

"A picture book biography about President John F. Kennedy that especially highlights the work he did in the area of Civil Rights. The facts about his life give young readers a very good foundation on the life of this President making this book my first choice for an introduction to this historic person's life.

I really liked the way the author presented history as it related to Kennedy all the while giving readers a solid feel for the events also taking place during the time period this book covers. So often history is presented in a vacuum and it can be difficult to place people and events in context when history isn't presented as the complex tapestry that it is. The author does just that here and manages also to work in quotes from Kennedy's speeches and quotes from key figures in the Civil Rights Movement both praising the President and in an effort to urge him to act.

I loved the artwork with its raw quality that makes me feel like the images were sketched by someone who watched all of these events unfold. The color palette is so rich and varied which also contributed to the authentic look the artwork lent this book as it almost felt like the pages were taken from a scrapbook.

The author's note is a must read and very timely with thought-provoking questions that speak directly to the reader and really drive home what the author set out to accomplish by writing this book. So many books have been written about Kennedy, but this book stands out in the best way because of the thoughtful approach the author took in focusing on Kennedy's Civil Rights work and his complex characterization which included incredible moments of leadership, but also key moments of inaction which lie in contrast to the example(s) he wrote about in his book Profiles in Courage.

Another cool feature of the back matter is a spread that introduces readers to key figures that played a role in the book ranging from Eleanor Roosevelt to the Greensboro Four to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lyndon B. Johnson. This spread takes the images of these historic figures from the artwork and provides a brief paragraph of info about their lives and work, and encourages readers to explore this time period and subject further with a recommended reading list.

Highly recommended for grades 3 & up; this is one of the best books I've read in a long time by two creators who have mastered their presentation here.
" said.

"'A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy's Big Speech' by Shana Corey with art by R. Gregory Christie is a picture book for younger readers which deals with an important time and an important speech. It's a book that inspires us to keep working for change.

The focal character of the book is John F. Kennedy. The focal issue is his relationship with the civil rights movement. What I like is that this book shows what a good person President Kennedy was, but it also shows how he had trouble acting on this particular issue. I appreciate that it does not disrespect the man because of this. It shows what he did accomplish, then gives some of the speech he made when he finally made up his mind.

The book is full of really nice painted pictures. There is an author's note at the end that is quite good. There is a short paragraph about some of the other people in the book. There is a bibliography and a suggested reading list. I enjoyed reading this book and I really appreciated the author's approach to the subject matter.

I received a review copy of this ebook from North South Books Inc. and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
" said.

" Incredibly inspirational and moving; I felt moved by the words and the pictures alike. " said.

" Tremendous illustrated biography of JFK. The historical information is presented well and the illustrations are unique and memorable. What is great about the book is how it goes beyond romanticizing a historic figure and, instead, focuses on an area where he initially faltered. Presenting an icon as a human makes the successes of his life and his enduring legacy all the more powerful. Great book for kids and parents alike. Review copy provided. " said.

"Shana Corey’s A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech is denser than most picture books, perhaps because it tries to do so much. It is a serviceable biography of Kennedy wrapped around a narrative about how his convictions regarding civil rights were sometimes compromised by political considerations. In addition, the beginning and ending of this book invite readers to consider how they are part of history. A lot is going on in these pages.

The R. Gregory Christie illustrations render well-known figures in recognizable ways while also conveying a folk-art feel.

A Time to Act is a worthwhile book for helping young readers understand President Kennedy, segregation, and the civil rights movement, but they may also need help with understanding some of the content. For example, Eleanor Roosevelt is mentioned but isn’t identified. Jackie Robinson is described only as “the famous baseball player.” Passages from Kennedy’s speeches contain language that might also require simplification and explanation for the youngest readers.

A Time to Act provides clear messages about the importance of acting on our convictions and becoming actively involved in the important issues of our time.
" said.

" The author dives into Kennedy's support or lack thereof for the Civil Rights Movement as President. Corey does not whitewash history and gives readers much to think about especially after reading the author's note at the end.Christie's illustrations evoke so much emotion and have a texture to them. I wish the publisher had included the type of media used. " said.

"This book should be in every school library and every classroom - a rare thing for me to say. This is the story of JFK and the Civil Rights movement. Too many times, children's history books shy away from the "uglier" side of history. That is not the case here - Kennedy's feet-dragging over Civil Rights is portrayed front and center. In this day and age, it is so important to know our past, so we can work to not allow it to repeat. Highly recommended.

Also - the illustrations are amazing and seem to fit the story so perfectly.
" said.

June 2017 New Book:

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