Wednesday, October 17, 2012
2013 Contenders: We've Got a Job, by Cynthia Levinson
Cynthia Levinson is a respected author of nonfiction articles, but this is her first book. Add her to the list of new authors to watch -- her organizational ability is superb, and her prose is clean and vigorous. Based on We've Got a Job, she has a real talent for showing how the past impacts the present, which is one of the hardest challenges of writing nonfiction.
As we've mentioned previously in this space, this year has seen the publication of a lot of Civil Rights-themed books. Of the nonfiction titles, We've Got a Job is probably the best -- I'd place it above Little Rock Girl 1957, as well as Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass, which are the two others that have seen the most discussion. It does the best job, not just of telling its story, but of explaining why the story matters to children in 2012 and beyond.
Is it the best nonfiction title of the year? I wouldn't go that far, I don't think. I still feel that Moonbird is the one that I'd pick for that honor, and given the competition, I don't quite feel the need to insert We've Got a Job into the semi-final reading list for our blog. But this is a book every library should own, and a valuable contribution to children's history.
Published in February by Peachtree Publishers