There is much to love in this picture book biography featuring a condensed narrative which could easily interest a twelve or thirteen year old reader who is not yet familiar with the story of Malcolm X. This text offers gorgeous, mature, full-color illustrations and emphasizes quotations from the subject on almost every page. Malcolm’s words are woven into the narrative and set off from Myers’ text in bold block quotes. This volume also features an unusual timeline as its only backmatter; unusual in that it covers the subject’s 39 years in twelve points and each point is accompanied by one or more quotes from Malcolm X. For example, the 1946 the text reads, “Malcolm is arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison.” The accompanying quote reads, “ ‘I had gotten to the point where I was walking on my own coffin. It’s a law of the rackets that every criminal expects to get caught.’” A helpful resource for scaffolding more sophisticated biographies of Malcolm X for tweens. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber
Myers, Walter Dean. Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly. New York: HarperCollins, 2003. Print.