Toni Morrison: The Magic of Words

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Toni Morrison was born Chloe Wofford, only acquiring the nickname Toni in college and Morrison as the name of a husband she later divorced. To her surprise, an editor-friend put Toni Morrison on the cover of her first published book, an autobiographical novel called The Bluest Eye, and she has been Toni to her admiring public ever since. In 1993, Morrison became the first African-American woman to win any Nobel Prize and the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize in literature. That honor perhaps justifies her inclusion in this "Gateway" biography series from Millbrook Press, although Morrison's books are written for adults—well beyond the age group reading this biography. The book chronicles the facts of Morrison's life¾growing up poor in Lorain, Ohio, graduating from Howard University, becoming a rare African-American editor at Random House. We learn only bits and pieces, however, about Morrison's thoughts and emotions or even the motivating influences in her life beyond her parents. There are numerous photographs and descriptions of historic moments in the civil rights movement but little indication that Morrison herself was involved personally, except as a beneficiary and later a role model. Although the endnotes direct readers to Morrison's Nobel acceptance speech about a Nobel Foundation web site, it would have been appropriate to include at least a portion of that speech in this biography, especially since the book closes with a remark from the Nobel ceremony by New York Times critic John Leonard — "There's never been such majesty. I wasn't the only wet-eyed New York smarty-pants proud to be a citizen of whatever country Toni Morrison comes from." 2001,Millbrook Press, $21.90. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-This introductory biography is well organized, attractive, and inspiring. While chronicling the writer's life, Haskins also gives readers a glimpse into the times in which she has lived, providing a clear sense of her challenges and motivations. The volume is slim but packed with black-and-white and full-color photographs that include the public library Morrison frequented as a child in Lorain, OH, her days at Howard University, and her acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. An informative choice.-Kate McLean, DeKalb County Public Library, Tucker, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761318064
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Series: Strong Women--Strong Voices Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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