Holding Her Own: the Exceptional Life of Jackie Ormes
Words by Traci N. Todd; Pictures by Shannon Wright
Orchard Books. An Imprint of Scholastic Inc. 2023
“This story begins — as many stories do — with a blank page, an empty space waiting to be filled…”
And, so begins this captivating picture book biography on the life of Jackie Ormes, the first Black cartoonist to be syndicated in the United States.
The illustrations, created digitally, resemble a collage that are placed alongside the colorful double-page spreads of the comic characters created by Ormes.
Jackie Ormes (named Zelda) was born in 1911 outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1945, Ormes created the comic, Patty-jo’ n’ Ginger. It was Ormes platform to comment on Black life, the war and its aftermath, and the fight for social justice. Patty-Jo’ n’ Ginger would run until 1956.
Included is an author’s note, a note from the artist, and a selected bibliography.
This powerful biography, for all ages, especially high schoolers, is a reminder that readers can use their voices to speak out about injustices and use their talents to bring about positive change.
Click here to see a short video by Todd and Wright promoting this book.