Patsy Mink

Philomel. (She Persisted). May 2022. 80p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593402887.
Gr 1-4–Persistence was a character trait that Patsy Mink exhibited from a very young age. Born in Hawaii in 1927, she had a nurturing family that allowed her to pursue her curiosity and explore the world around her. However, life was not without its challenges. Her Japanese ancestry and gender often created roadblocks as she worked hard to advance to higher education. Mink’s first choice was to become a medical doctor. Unfortunately, due to prevailing racism and misogyny, she found that goal unattainable. Realizing that helping others was her passion, she found that her competitive nature and interest in government led her to politics. Working hard, she became a star, achieving many firsts along the way, including the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman elected to Congress in 1964. Mink is best known for being a coauthor of the Title IX amendment of the Higher Education Act. This early chapter book’s illustrations add to the age-appropriate narrative. Included are a table of contents, references, acknowledgements, and an appended section listing six things readers can do to achieve persistence. Keller’s end note explains her use of the term concentration camp over the more commonly used internment camp when addressing the institutionalized racism Asian Americans encountered after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She noted that the U.S. Supreme Court did not overturn the use of these facilities until 2018.
VERDICT This biography’s focus on perseverance, prejudice, women’s issues, and uncomfortable historical events makes it an important addition to all libraries.

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