Mama In Congress: Rashida Tlaib’s Journey to Washington

Clarion. Sept. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780358683438.
Gr 1-4–Adam Tlaib tells the story of his mother Rashida’s lifelong mission to help make people’s lives better—as an activist, a lawyer, and an elected official (first in the Michigan House of Representatives, then in the U.S. House of Representatives). Her Palestinian heritage and Muslim religion are important parts of her identity; when Adam suggests it might be safer to hide, she replies that it’s “important to be our authentic selves.” The language is as kid-friendly as possible for the topic, and there’s a helpful glossary, as well as a description of the three branches of government, using a tree analogy. The illustrations are lively and varied, showing the Tlaib family, the campaign trail, and the great round hall of the U.S. Capitol building filled with warm golden light (and a portrait of Shirley Chisholm). First-person narration from a kid’s point of view makes the story relatable, and Rashida Tlaib’s successes are inspiring.
VERDICT A valuable addition to picture book biography collections.

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