I’m a big fan of Kekla Magoon’s novels (If you haven’t read HOW IT WENT DOWN and LIGHT IT UP, you should remedy that!), so I’m delighted to be hosting the cover reveal for her first picture book today!
THE HIGHEST TRIBUE: THURGOOD MARSHALL’S LIFE, LEADERSHIP, AND LEGACY is illustrated by Laura Freeman and comes out from HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books this winter. Look at this gorgeous cover!
Here’s a bit more from Kekla about the book…
This picture book biography was really fun to write. I loved learning more about Thurgood Marshall, who I had often studied in passing in the course of writing other books about the civil rights movement. Thurgood was brilliant, and a real trailblazer. He was a noteworthy attorney of the civil rights era, and the first Black justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court. He is often credited with singlehandedly making big strides for equality under the law, but the truth was, Thurgood was always working as part of a team, always learning and always teaching. He was skilled at collaboration, and he hoped that his work would not only stand the test of time but be built upon many others.
This past week, we’ve seen two major civil rights-related decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court—one in support of equality in employment for all people regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, and another in support of the “dreamers,” immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as very young children. I feel certain that Thurgood would look upon these decisions and stand proud of the legacy that he left for the court. At the same time, he would surely acknowledge that there is still work to be done to create equality for Black Americans across this land. Perhaps there has never been a better time to look back on the history of these movements for legal equality and opportunity, to help us understand the struggles and the leaders that helped bring us to the place we currently stand, and to help us understand where we need to go from here.
I am primarily a novelist, which means this picture book was my first illustrated project. It was incredibly exciting to see the words of this story come alive in Laura Freeman’s art. The cover offers a mere glimpse of the amazing work she was able to do to bring the narrative to life. I can’t wait for readers to be able to enjoy all of Laura’s beautiful work, and to dive deeply into Thurgood’s story, as I did.
You can pre-order THE HIGHEST TRIBUTE right now at Bookshop,org, which supports independent bookstores.It comes out on January 5, 2021.