"What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan" by Chris Barton, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

This uniquely Texan story continues to inspire people to fight for justice around the world today.

 

The Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has chosen What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, as the Texas Great Read for 2019. Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select a title that represents the state’s literary landscape to highlight at the National Book Festival. The event showcases the importance of books and reading. The festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress and takes place during Labor Day weekend in Washington, D.C.

 

Texan Barbara Jordan knew how to use her distinct voice—and that voice brought her public attention, wide acclaim, and political power. This engaging and inspiring picture book biography takes you into the world of the inimitable educator, writer, and politician from her childhood in Houston’s Fifth Ward to the halls of power in the United States Congress.

 

Throughout her life, Barbara Jordan’s bold voice made her stand out and took her to many places few African Americans had been. Chris Barton’s biography, along with Ekua Holmes’ vivid illustrations, invites the reader on this journey alongside Jordan—illuminating how she succeeded in giving voice to the voiceless in her lifelong fight for civil rights and equality. This uniquely Texan story continues to inspire people to fight for justice around the world today. 

 

Chris Barton is the author of many picture books, including the bestseller Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor–winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List books The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (2016–17) and Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (2017–18). His other books include Book or Bell?Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion, and What Do You Do with a Voice Like That. He visits schools by the score and also loves speaking to professional gatherings of librarians, educators, and his fellow writers. Barton and his wife, novelist Jennifer Ziegler, live in Austin, Texas, with their family. For more information about Barton, please visit www.chrisbarton.info

 

Ekua Holmes is a fine artist whose work explores themes of family, relationships, hope, and faith. The first children’s book she illustrated is Carole Boston Weatherford’s Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, which was a Caldecott Honor Book and a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and for which she also won the John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award. Holmes lives in Boston. For more information about Holmes, please visit https://www.ekuaholmes.com/.

 

Reader/Teacher Resources

Bibliography on the Chris Barton blog for What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

Visit the Chris Barton website for more resources.

Visit the Ekua Holmes website for more resources.

See current and past Great Read book selections from all 50 states.