25 May

Coming this September: What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

“…Wonderful, Enjoyable, Exciting, Adventurous, Adorable, Unforgettable, Rapturous…”

That’s how Houston native Barbara Jordan described the train trip to Chicago that took her outside Texas for the first time in her life, for a high school oratorical contest. (She won, unsurprisingly.)

Those words are also an apt summation of how I feel about Ekua Holmes’ art for our upcoming picture book biography of Jordan, the legislator, teacher, and voice of public conscience who died in 1996.

You’ll be able to see that glorious art for yourself soon enough. What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? will be published this September 25 by Beach Lane Books. Today, I’m pleased to start by sharing with you the cover —

— as well as the publisher’s description:

“When Barbara Jordan talked, we listened.” — Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton

Congresswoman Barbara Jordan had a big, bold, confident voice — and she knew how to use it! Learn all about her amazing career in this illuminating and inspiring picture book biography of the lawyer, educator, politician, and civil rights leader.

Even as a child growing up in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, Barbara Jordan stood out for her big, bold, booming, crisp, clear, confident voice. It was a voice that made people sit up, stand up, and take notice.

So what do you do with a voice like that?

Barbara took her voice to places few African American women had been in the 1960s: first law school, then the Texas state senate, then up to the United States congress. Throughout her career, she persevered through adversity to give voice to the voiceless and to fight for civil rights, equality, and justice.

New York Times bestselling author Chris Barton and Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes deliver a remarkable picture book biography about a woman whose struggles and mission continue to inspire today.

You can pre-order What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? here, and you can see more of the art here.

4 thoughts on “Coming this September: What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

  1. YES! A voice we need to remember for today and future generations. I just ordered copies for our library and look forward to this incredible story.

  2. Congratulations! Chris, this looks like an amazing book. Would you be up for writing a post about Barbara Jordan for my blog?

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