Who Was Celia Cruz? – Pam Pollack & Meg Belviso, illustrated by Jake Murray

  Who Was Celia Cruz? – Pam Pollack & Meg Belviso, illustrated by Jake Murray, Penguin Random House LLC, 9780448488691, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review):

What did you like about the book?  As it is Hispanic Heritage month until October 15th, this book was fitting to read this time of year. I did not know anything about Celia Cruz and this book was wonderfully informative. Although it used factual information the author spent the time to tell the facts more as a narrative story. We learned about Celia Cruz’s young life as well as her adult life and career. It is truly a story that brings in the beauty of being an Afro-Cuban, which is a narrative we often do not learn about in general education. When the author mentions a key fact/place/name they often dedicate about two separate pages to define or provide narrative information about that specific topic. For example, when we were introduced to Celia’s early life the author dedicated two pages to talk about the history of Cuba. The illustrations are graphite drawings of Celia Cruz at different life stages and even some of her album covers. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? Similar to another Who Was book, I think, in addition to the graphite drawings it would have been nice to get some actual full color photographs of Celia Cruz.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Middle school aged children 11-14 years old

Who should buy this book? Middle schools and public libraries 

Where would you shelve it ? Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston Ma

Date of review: 10/11/2020

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