Josephine Book

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  • Josephine Book
  • Josephine Book

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Josephine is a free-verse biographical poem that pulls its inspiration from the life of a fascinating performer and civil rights pioneer. Josephine Baker grew up in the shantytowns of St. Louis, often considered the home of ragtime music. At only 13, she left home to travel with a dance troupe, honing her silly on-stage persona and earning pennies. Through a series of unlikely but fortunate events, her talent was discovered and soon she was dancing the Charleston on a stage in Paris. While most of the milestones of her notorious career and turbulent life are included, Powell focuses on events that carried the most personal weight for Baker, such as almost losing her leg in a childhood accident, her refusal to dance in segregated American dance halls, and her first time on a transatlantic boat trip. Quotes from Baker punctuate the engaging narrative poem and Robinson’s gorgeous, colorful acrylics (with cute Lego-faced characters) honor the colorful exuberance of both the Jazz era and Baker’s life. Well researched and spirited, this features innumerable points of discussion for young readers. Grades 2-4. --Erin Anderson

Coretta Scott King Book Award, Illustrator, Honor
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, Honor
Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, Nonfiction Honor
Parent's Choice Award
Wall Street Journal's 10 Best Children's Books of the Year List
Bologna Ragazzi Nonfiction Honor 2014

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books
  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.7 x 10.2 inches


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