A Caldecott-honor winning picture book biography of the mother of Emmett Till, and how she channeled grief over her son's death into a call to action for the civil rights movement.
Mamie Till-Mobley is the mother of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered while visiting the South in 1955. His death became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but few know that it was his mother who was the catalyst for bringing his name to the forefront of history.
In Choosing Brave, Angela Joy and Janelle Washington offer a testament to the power of love, the bond of motherhood, and one woman's unwavering advocacy for justice. It is a poised, moving work about a woman who refocused her unimaginable grief into action for the greater good. Mamie fearlessly refused to allow America to turn away from what happened to her only child. She turned pain into change that ensured her son's life mattered.
Timely, powerful, and beautifully told, this thorough and moving story has been masterfully crafted to be both comprehensive and suitable for younger readers.
About the Author
Angela Joy was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota, she attended New York University and Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia—where her heart will forever reside. Angela traveled abroad extensively as a background vocalist, also working in television and movie soundtracks. She currently lives in southern California with her husband and two children, writing from a small hallway desk where the walls are painted a royal shade of purple.
Janelle Washington is a self-taught paper cut artist from Virginia. She has permanent silhouettes housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and Downing-Gross Community Arts Center in Newport News, Virginia. She is also a member of The Guild of American Papercutters. Choosing Brave is her first picture book.
"In an extraordinary volume, Joy’s cadenced prose and Washington’s dimensional cut-paper artwork portray Mamie Till-Mobley’s (1921–2003) life." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[T]old with hauntingly lyrical language... [and] powerful expressionistic art crafted from cut paper and silhouettes. A devastating, uniquely told story that will resonate." —Kirkus, starred review
"Washington’s dramatic paper-cut art, featuring bold black-and-white silhouettes and figures on brown backgrounds with blue, brown, and red tissue-paper accents, perfectly captures the courage and dignity of the subject." —Horn Book, starred review
"[A] forceful, strikingly illustrated nonfiction picture book." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
"By placing Emmett’s murder in the context of [Mamie Till-Mobley's] life, the narrative brings a deep intimacy to the portrayal of a woman mourning her son, not a symbol." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"The heartbreaking story of Emmett Till is shared with great emotional depth... An essential purchase." —School Library Journal, starred review
"A moving, memorable picture book." —Booklist, starred review
Caldecott Honor Book
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor
Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for Illustrations
Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winner
Walter Dean Myer Award Winner
Cybils 2022 Award Winner for Middle School Nonfiction
Boston Globe-Horn Nonfiction Honor Book
2022 Blue Ribbon List
Kirkus Reviews Best of the Year List
Horn Book Fanfare Best of 2022 List
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2022
Shelf Awareness Best Books of the Year
New York Public Library Best Books of 2022
Chicago Public Library Best Books of the Year
Evanston Public Library 101 Great Books for Kids
Friends of American Writers' Young People's Literature Award Winner for 2022