A Seat at the Table: The Nancy Pelosi Story

Crown. Sept. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593372517.
Gr 1-4–Growing up as the daughter of Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro of Baltimore, Nancy Pelosi witnessed political life up close. Every week her father’s constituents were welcomed into the family home to air their concerns. When the mayor “went off to city hall,” it was her mother who “made them finally feel heard,” and connected community members with the services they needed. Boxer briefly notes Pelosi’s other influences as well as her campaign work while raising five children, her election to Congress, and her rise to become the first female Speaker of the House. The author focuses on the subject’s struggle to gain a “seat at the table” as a woman in politics, and how once she did, she used her influence to support other female candidates. Causes Pelosi has championed throughout her career are mentioned, but the few specifics are relegated to an author’s note and time line. Quotes throughout support a picture of a determined woman for whom public service is a “noble calling.” This title ends with the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob stormed Congress, “shattering” items in the Speaker’s office but “not her strength” as later that day she called lawmakers back into session to confirm the vote of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Broad strokes characterize Freeman’s lackluster illustrations, which often feature a large generalized portrait in the foreground with several separate, smaller scenes enacted in the background.
VERDICT An accessible introduction with a focus on Pelosi’s influences and role as a woman in politics.

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