Little People, Big Dreams: Maya Angelou
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
This inspiring biography for young readers focusses on writer, speaker and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. Maya grew up in the American South during the 1930s, at a time of racial tension and segregation. The hardships she endured are described in simplistic language, enabling children to digest weighty concepts: Maya was treated unfairly because of the colour of her skin and because she was a girl. The distinctive illustrations also promote discussion, such as a 'white only' sign in a shop window.
As well as highlighting the remarkable achievements of Maya Angelou, the book also examines the social and historical context in which she grew up, along with issues of race, gender, abuse and overcoming adversity.
The excellent Little People, Big Dreams series of picture books introduces the genre of biography to children, enthusing them about extraordinary people who followed their dreams to achieve great things. There is additional factual information, photographs and a timeline at the end the book, along with suggestions for further reading.