Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

by Katherine E. Krohn

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
With quotes based on numerous magazine articles, this biography of "one of the most powerful brand names in entertainment industry" invites a wide range of reader types. Short, punchy sentences do not gloss over her early years—raised by her grandmother, molested by older family members and others, a bookish child in spite of no support. Oprah Winfrey has inspired millions of people on her talk show and the book shows how she received mentoring and made strong friendships as she rose to prominence. Numerous boxes of "It's a Fact" convey bits of information about Oprah, the times, while captioned photographs of Oprah (starting in high school, one assumes, because there are none from her early years) and others break up the page. Short sections, plenty of white space, and above all, Oprah Winfrey's positive attitude, invite less able readers to keep on reading. Glossary, index, source notes for quotes, many websites, and a bibliography are included. 2005, Lerner, Ages 10 to 16.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
A publisher's note boldly calls this new series an "Innovative Concept for Struggling Readers," a huge claim to make. The sentences in these two books about Benjamin Franklin and Oprah Winfrey are short and simply written with a smooth flow. Several words are defined in the text so that readers do not have to switch back and forth to the glossary. The authors do not fawn over their subjects. They do not hesitate to bring up dark incidents in Franklin's and Winfrey's lives-his illegitimate son, her sexual abuse and wildness as a teen. "It's a Fact!" boxes are scattered throughout each book, providing tidbits of little known information. Franklin's biography contains finely detailed small pen-and-ink drawings, some with color. Winfrey's has black-and-white and color photographs. Books in the series were written in consultation with a reading specialist, which might account for plain text and no fancy fonts in a size easily read. Krohn traces Oprah's life from her challenging childhood until the celebration of her fiftieth birthday. Streissguth goes beyond the well-known details of Franklin's life and succeeds in making him human, not merely the guy who flew the kite. Both authors seem to be writing to inspire their readers to discover and develop their own gifts and talents despite difficulties. Franklin's age might have held him back several times; Oprah's race could have been a deterrent. Others profiled in the series include Jesse Owens and John Glenn. One hopes that more women will be included in the future. The series can be recommended for both personal reading and report information. (Just the Facts Biographies). VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasionallapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Lerner, 101p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading., PLB . Ages 11 to 18.
—Pam Carlson

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Gardners Books
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750L (what's this?)

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