Harris, Meena

Ambitious Girl

(3) K-3 Illustrated by Marissa Valdez. A young girl with brown skin sees a confident Black woman on TV. Judgments blare out from the screen: "Too confident / Too ambitious / Too proud." The woman faces out, as if addressing the girl: "Don't let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are." In a rhyming first-person text, the girl expands on the mixed messages she receives when she speaks her truth. She takes strength from women in her family and from the "...sisters, aunties, mothers / [who] have opened so many doors." Valdez's energetic illustrations expand on the text's girl-power message. An author's note alludes to criticism of "one of the women in our family" (VP Kamala Harris, who's not named) as the book's spark.


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