What's Your Story, Amelia Earhart?

9781467787833. ea vol: 32p. (Cub Reporter Meets Famous Americans). chron. further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. Lerner. 2016. lib. ed. $26.65.
Gr 2–4—A whimsical approach to biographies sure to appeal to young readers. While promoting inquiry-inspired learning, the question-and-answer format also invites confusion by juxtaposing a cartoon with a real person's story that might leave children wondering what's real. Then there's the "time-difference factor": Cub asks questions in the present tense, and "respondents," all dead, answer thus—and compare their lives to today. Finally, a disclaimer in each title concedes the "interviews" aren't each subject's actual spoken words but comprise accurate, researched facts about his/her life. Younger students won't get the distinction. Other missteps: Earhart's disappearance is mentioned only in her time line; Douglass includes the question "What did you think about being a slave?". Still, these overviews give a sense of who these people were and are filled with color and high-quality contemporary photos and other visuals.
VERDICT Despite hiccups, a good introduction to biographies, with Sequoyah, Paul Revere, and Wilma Rudolph the best of the series.
Cub Reporter "interviews" the legendary African American sprinter and Olympic gold medalist. Rudolph responds to simplistic questions about her complicated life in her own hokey "voice" ("Yes, and I was so proud!"). Cartoons of a microphone-holding bear cub alternate with captioned photos that extend information. The premise may work for reluctant readers. Reading list, timeline, websites. Glos., ind.

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