Who Is Stevie Wonder? by Jim Gigliotti (Grosset & Dunlap 2016; $5.99). Gigliotti, a former editor at the “National Football League,” has written numerous “who are biographies for about famous people such as Olympian Jesse Owens and baseball star Roberto Clemente. In this book, he explores the life of Steveland Judkins, who at age 11 auditioned for Motown Record Corporation, wowing most of the listeners with his ability to play multiple instruments and sing. What many didn’t know that day, the boy who would become Stevie Wonder and win 25 Grammy Awards as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was blind.
Megan Stine does the same thing in Who Was Michael Jackson? showing young readers how the gifted singer from Gary, Indiana went on to become an international star.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Knopf Books for Young Readers 2017; $17.99) tells the story of two teens—Henry and Rachel who meet again after years apart. When she was younger, Rachel had a huge crush on Henry and the day before she moved, she tucked a
love letter to him into a book.
Now the two are working in a bookstore together. But life has changed so much in that intervening time. Rachel’s brother has died and she feels numb. Will working with Henry in the bookstore and discovering books together change all that.